On Friday night, the community celebrated and honored the dead, as the streets of Fort Lauderdale and the FAT Village arts district were transformed for the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos.
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Three years ago, the Day of the Dead festival in South Florida was mostly comprised of a parade and a few art galleries containing inspired pieces and shrines or ofrednas to loved ones. However, in just a short amount of time, the annual celebration has grown. This year was certainly bigger than ever in both attendance and in things to do. It almost goes without saying that this event was a success. From the traditional skeletal procession to a multitude of bands, and even a few lowriders on display, there was no shortage of things to overload your senses.
The evening began with a skeleton processional that began at the Museum of Art and wove its way downtown to the celebration happening within FAT Village. A mariachi band led the droves of costumed folk through the streets as cars and curious onlookers paused to get a better glimpse at the colorful swarm of skeletons. While you could join in on the fun wearing regular clothing, there wasn't a casual parader in sight. Women wore traditional dresses, complete with rose crowns and bouquets, while the mens' faces were done up in skeletal paint. There were even some roller derby girls skating their way through town. The belle of the ball, however, was the enormous puppet skeleton adorned in a pink dress with matching lips and hat.