MEMPHIS, Tenn — Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group are joining forces to offer a free, socially distanced 4th Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration on Saturday, October 24 from noon to 4 p.m.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors friends and family members who have died. The mission of the Memphis event is twofold: to preserve and communicate the cultural heritage of Dia de los Muertos, and to strengthen the cultural identity of Memphis’ Latino community.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will look a little different than it has in recent years. Instead of a Midtown parade that ends in a celebration at the Brooks Museum, this year members of the community will drive through Overton Park to enjoy the costumed performers, music, altars, and other festivities that will be stationed along the parade route – hence the “reverse parade.”
Info about road closures, suggested routes and a street map is included below.
The community celebration will offer pick-up kits for art-making activities at home, music, and performers such as Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl de Memphis, Herencia Hispana, and Mariachi
Guadalajara. Also featured will be costumed performers from Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group dressed as La Calavera Catrina. The figure of Catrina – an opulently dressed female skeleton – was created by the Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada in 1910, and has become an icon of Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Art-making kits that feature several different activities related to Dia de los Muertos can be reserved in advance and picked up at the Brooks Museum before the event on October 24. Or visitors can pick up kits on the day of the event, along the parade route, and take them home to enjoy as a family.
GUIDELINES FOR REVERSE PARADE ATTENDEES:
- Guests may not exit their vehicle during the duration of the reverse parade.
- Tailgates, doors, and hatchbacks must be closed.
- Objects may not be thrown out of a vehicle’s window.
- Children ages 8 and under must be in a car seat.
- Follow all road rules – You are responsible for your own driving.
- Don’t drive too fast. Maximum speed 3 mph.
- If you can go – go! Don’t hold up traffic unnecessarily.
- Follow the route – We will have signs and volunteers to direct traffic.
- Be polite; no honking.
- When you’re done – exit the loop and enjoy the rest of your day.
Reverse Parade Route
Entering Overton Park:
- Parade-goers must enter Overton Park from the westbound lanes of Poplar Ave.
- No left turn from Poplar Ave into Overton Park will be allowed.
- Eastbound traffic should use the North Parkway and East Parkway loop around Overton Park to enter the park in the westbound lanes of Poplar Ave.
- From the westbound lanes of Poplar Ave., enter Overton Park at Veterans Plaza Drive
- At the four-way stop sign, turn left onto Golf Drive (which runs parallel with Poplar Ave.)
- At the stop sign, turn right onto Morrie Moss Lane, toward the Brooks Museum
- Turn right into the Brooks Museum’s driveway
- Turn left onto Museum Drive (that runs between the Brooks and the Levitt Shell)
- Turn left onto Morrie Moss Lane and exit the park at the traffic light onto Poplar Ave.
Traffic will back up on Poplar Ave at the Veterans Plaza Drive entrance to Overton Park.
If you are NOT planning to attend the Reverse Parade, traffic should flow normally in the eastbound lanes of Poplar Ave. Through traffic in the westbound lanes of Poplar should use the left two lanes.
Please use the following alternate routes if you are planning to visit Overton Park or the Memphis Zoo between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 24.
Traveling eastbound on Poplar:
- Turn left on North McLean Boulevard to enter Overton Park via Prentiss Place.
Traveling westbound on Poplar:
- Turn right at the traffic light at Poplar Avenue and N. Tucker Street to enter Overton Park.
Consider using North Parkway to North McLean Boulevard to access the Memphis Zoo’s main entrance.