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From a traditional procession and music to marigolds and sugar skull ornaments, the colors and spirit of Día de los Muertos will be on display at Central Washington University during a Day of the Dead commemoration on Friday.

The event is free and open to the public and starts with a procession leaving Barge Hall at 5 p.m., winding through campus and ending at the Student Union and Recreation Center ballroom for a 6 p.m. festival.

Día de los Muertos is the tradition of honoring the dead and everybody is invited to honor their loved ones, said Veronica Gomez-Vilchis, assistant director of the Center for Diversity and Social Justice.

“This is an event that all communities can connect with because we all have people who passed away, and this is a time to remember them,” she said.

Those attending are invited to bring photos and relics to honor their deceased by placing on altars along the procession, including at the SURC pit where guest artists from Mexico are creating sand tapestries.

The festival in the ballroom will include arts and crafts activities, performances by CWU Mariachi del Centro and Aztec dancers, photo booth and a DJ. Food options under $10 (cash only) will be offered by local vendors Juanita’s Mexican Food and Genesis Churros and Tamales. Horchata and bread also will be available.

Parking in university lots is free after 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise posted.

Jason Morales writes for the CWU Publicity Center.

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