Hundreds of Palo Alto residents celebrate Day of the Dead with song, dance and art



“Por favor?” the colorfully-dressed woman asks in a singsong voice. “No,” grumbles the old man. She raises her hands for the audience — a sea of giggling toddlers and their parents — to chime in. Without skipping a beat, they join her in unison: “Por favor?”

This was the scene in the Treetop Room of the Palo Alto Children’s Library last Sunday where the library played host to bilingual theater troupe Cascada de Flores, in honor of the city’s fifth annual Day of the Dead celebration. The troupe integrated lively song, dance and theatrics for the event which is dedicated to showcasing Mexican heritage.

“They cover the bases,” said Senior Librarian Deborah Anthonyson.

Across the way at the Palo Alto Art Center, Director Karen Kienzle estimates 400 attendees joined in on the Day of the Dead festivities. Visitors of all ages got their faces painted to look like “calavera,” or skulls. They decorated sugar skulls and munched on traditional Oaxacan food, courtesy of popular food truck Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile. Throughout the afternoon, Mexican heritage was on full display. The celebration was sponsored by the Palo Alto Art Center, Children’s Library and Theater, and Junior Museum and Zoo.

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