The Mexican festival of ancestors and departed loved ones, known as Dia de los Muertos, is fast approaching, and Kansas City has big celebrations planned. From memorial altars to dance performances and children’s crafts, here’s what to look forward to during this festive season this year.
Opening exhibition on the first Friday
Oct. 7, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m
This celebration, officially kicking off the Dia De los Muertos celebrations in Kansas City, will be held at the new Mattie Rhodes Cultural Center building at 1701 Jarboe St. on the Westside.
Nearly a dozen food vendors will be on-site, along with entertainment including mariachi music and traditional Mexican dancing. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the center’s Dia de los Muertos gallery exhibition by local artists, featuring works by Juan Moya.
Fiesta Friday at the Crossroads Hotel
Oct 21, 9pm to 11pm
This celebration at the Crossroads Hotel’s XR Cafe features live music, a communal altar and Dia de los Muertos-inspired food and beverage specials. This Friday night event is best suited for adults.
Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Kansas City Museum
Oct. 22, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
This fun-filled festival brings the celebrations of Dia de los Muertos to the city’s historic northeast.
The celebration will be held at the Kansas City Museum at 3218 Gladstone Blvd and will feature a large community altar installation. This family-friendly event features live music, puppet shows, face painting, food, vendors and children’s art activities.
Dia de los Muertos Festival at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m
This annual celebration will feature an interactive altar installation where you can pay tribute to a loved one who has passed away. The altar is created by the Mattie Rhodes Center, local artists and school groups.
The day will also feature children’s activities, traditional Mexican dance performances, mariachi bands and Mexican food for sale from a variety of local vendors.
Calaca Parade and Graduation at Mattie Rhodes
Nov. 4, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m
This festive parade marks the end of Dia de los Muertos, when skeletal figures, or calacas, chase the souls of the deceased back to the spirit world.
The parade winds its way through the Westside neighborhood from the Mattie Rhodes Cultural Center. Stop by to take part in the parade and enjoy food trucks, vendors, entertainment and one last look at the center’s art exhibition.
Guadalupe centers Dia de los Muertos celebration
Nov 4, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m
This event features a traditional altar, ceremonial dances and fun family activities such as face painting, food vendors, crafts and live entertainment.
The celebration will take place both inside and outside the Guadalupe Center Administration Building at 1015 Avenida Cesar E. Chavez.
Central Avenue Dia de los Muertos Celebration, Kansas City, Kansas
November 5, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m
This annual parade and festival has something for everyone: a car show for the grown-ups, face painting and art, food and live entertainment for the whole family.
Get there at 3pm to see the walking Catrinas — people dressed as elegantly adorned skeletons — and stay for the parade, which begins at 6pm
Have more questions about seasonal activities in Kansas City? Ask the service journalism team at [email protected].