Ogden Day of the Dead Activities Focus on COVID-19 Victims | News, Sports, Jobs


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A Day of the Dead altar at the Monarch, pictured on Monday, November 1, 2021, features COVID-19 victims among other things in an effort to raise awareness of the impact of the virus on the Latin American community. Cirilo Franco, shown here, helped set it up.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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A Day of the Dead altar at the Monarch, pictured on Monday, November 1, 2021, features COVID-19 victims among other things in an effort to raise awareness of the impact of the virus on the Latin American community.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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A Day of the Dead altar at the Monarch, pictured on Monday, November 1, 2021, features COVID-19 victims among other things in an effort to raise awareness of the impact of the virus on the Latin American community. Pictured are some of the volunteers who helped set it up, left to right, Sandra Nieto, Cirilo Franco, Cindy Quintana and Arlene Anderson.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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Monica Rodriquez, multicultural counselor at the Weber State Multicultural Center, discusses Day of the Dead activities held on Monday, November 1, 2021 at the Monarch in Ogden. An altar dedicated to the dead is in the background. Also pictured, from left to right, are Norah Valle, Isabel Asensio and Victor Valle.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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A Day of the Dead altar at the monarch, photographed on Monday, November 1, 2021, features COVID-19 victims among other things in an effort to raise awareness of the impact of the virus on the Latino community. Pictured are some of the volunteers who helped set it up, left to right, Arlene Anderson, Cindy Quintana, Cirilo Franco and Sandra Nieto.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

OGDEN – The organizers of a week of activities in Ogden to mark the Day of the Dead are taking the opportunity to highlight those who have died from COVID-19 and efforts to fight the virus.

The virus has “ruled our lives for the past two years. We want to get rid of it, ”said Cirilo Franco, who helps organize the events, which run until Friday.

The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos in Spanish, has its roots in Mexico and is an annual tribute to those who have died, usually celebrated on November 1 and 2. One of the pillars of this week’s extended activities, organized by a coalition of groups and volunteers and held at the Monarch, is a Broad Altar, a Day of the Dead tradition, focused on victims of COVID-19.

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Latinos and other people of color, Franco said, and the purpose of the altar is, in part, to raise awareness of the disparity. Many of those remembered at the altar died from the virus, their photos marked with small notes that read “Lost to COVID-19”.

“We also wanted to publicize the COVID vaccine so that we can try to put the pandemic behind us,” Franco said. As part of the various activities, COVID-19 vaccines will be administered free of charge on Friday at the Monarch, 455 25th St., from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in collaboration with the Weber-Morgan Health Department.

The altar – or ofrenda in Spanish – features photos of those remembered as well as samples of objects important to them in life. There is a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola, which is made with cane sugar; a Mexican mortar and pestle, or molcajete, filled with jalapeños, onions and tomatoes; a bottle of tequila; a bottle of mole, a Mexican sauce containing dark chocolate; and more.

“It’s just your dedication to your ancestors, to the dead,” said Khylee Betancourt, a Weber State student who attended Day of the Dead activities at the Monarch on Monday.

The altar is also decorated with many skulls, skeleton figurines and marigolds. It is believed that the orange blossom attracts the spirits.

Day of the Dead altars are usually installed inside homes or even on graves inside cemeteries. Family members will remember loved ones, usually in a joyful way. “They have flowers. They have food. They have music, ”Franco said.

An Ogden School District art and music showcase is scheduled for Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. as part of extended Day of the Dead activities at the Monarch. The Ogden City Latin Film Festival is scheduled for Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Several artists will be featured on Friday, including Las Cafeteras and Weber State’s Ballet Folklorico group. Entertainment is available from 6.15 p.m. to 9.45 p.m.

Admission is free to all activities, organized by representatives of Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music and other bands.

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