Celebrate Dia de los Muertos at Imperial This Weekend

By: Toni Cunningham | October 29, 2014

Day of the Dead, better known as Dia de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday observed in order to remember those who have passed on. The three-day celebration consists of All Hallows Eve (Oct. 31), All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2).

You’ve likely heard of Dia de los Muertos, and if we were to play a word association game, I’m willing to bet money that the first item to come to mind is the sugar skull, followed by skeletons and bright flowers. In order to commemorate Dia de los Muertos and honor those friends and family who have left us, Imperial, 22828 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, is hosting a celebration this weekend.

The 3rd Annual Dia de los Muertos party will take place on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Ferndale’s favorite taqueria. There is no cover charge, and chef Brennan Calnin will prepare a special food and drink menu in addition to the taco and Sonoran hot dog staples. Hand made tamales, housemade Mexican hot chocolate and a limited edition craft beer will all be on hand, as well as cupcakes from Five Two Bakery and cookies from Pinwheel Bakery.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to enrichment programs at Roosevelt Primary School in Ferndale and The Eagles Pledge’s Scholarship Program that benefits graduates of Ferndale Public Schools. The fine folks at Imperial are encouraging those who attend to bring along a photograph of a loved one who has passed to display on the community altar during the celebration.

One of the coolest aspects of Imperial’s Dia de los Muertos celebration (besides the $150 gift card awarded to the partygoer with the best sugar skull makeup) is that it celebrates the local art scene by supporting local artists. A number of local artists have created skull works of art that will be displayed during the event and auctioned off online through Tuesday, Nov. 4.

An artists’ reception will be held today, Thursday, Oct. 30, at Imperial from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., in which attendees will have the opportunity to meet the artists and ask questions about their works. In order to put together the reception aspect of the event, Imperial partnered with Valentine Distilling Co., Pinwheel Bakery and Five Two Bakery.

Participating local artists include Katerina Friday, Peter Coe, Shaina Kasztelan, Chris Gorski, Jerry Vile, Jaclyn Schanes, Emi Slade, Alison Gardiner, Matt Hockaday, Nate Qualls, Jeff Shae, Kadee Spangler, Bethany Shorb, Kip Ewing, Kill Taupe, Gary Arnett, Paolo Pedini and Audrey Pongracz.

You can bid on all of the above artists’ creations on eBay. For more information on the artist reception, as well as the Dia de los Muertos celebration, check out Imperial’s Facebook page.