October 29, 2018, Texarkana, TX- Halloween is prime time for ghosts, ghouls, zombies, and all the creepiness associated with death. In contrast, however, the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), is a sacred day honoring and remembering loved ones who have died.
On Friday, November 2, Texarkana College’s Education Opportunity Center (EOC) will host a free, family- friendly Day of the Dead festival, from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Truman Arnold Student Center, 2500 N. Robison Road, Texarkana, TX. The event will include costume and karaoke contests, kids’ booths, face painting, folkloric dancers, and altar contests. Authentic Mexican food will be available for purchase with proceeds supporting scholarship funds for first generation college students through TC’s EOC program.
Millie Serrano, Day of the Day event coordinator and EOC Specialist, said the event is a chance for the community to celebrate the fall season, pay homage to loved ones who have passed, and fellowship with family, friends and neighbors.
“El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a Mexican celebration, is a day to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed,” said Serrano. “On this day in Mexico, the streets near the cemeteries are filled with beautiful paper folk-art decorations called papel picado, flowers, candy Calaveras (skeletons and skulls), and parades. Mexican families build private altars called ofrendas by collecting and displaying objects meaningful to a person who has died.”
Serrano said TC’s EOC event will reflect the same time-honored traditions as celebrated in Mexico and will inform the community about the meaning behind Day of the Dead.
“At the Day of the Dead Event, you will have a chance to celebrate with dance performances, music, art, and food,” said Serrano. “Everyone is welcome and we hope we have a large crowd! We have so many generous sponsors of the event who will have booths set up for give-away items, information, and kid-friendly activities. There will be something fun for everyone who attends—and the food will be delicious!”
The EOC program at TC is hosting the event to help bring more awareness to traditions of the Hispanic culture and to bring the community together for this special day. It is also a way to introduce the public to programs offered through TC’s Education Opportunity Center.
“The Educational Opportunity Center at Texarkana College helps people who want to go to college plan their educational future,” said Serrano. “We will help you navigate through the admissions and financial aid process of the college, university, or vocational school of your choice. We have services available on the TC campus to help people earn their GED/High School Equivalency Diploma, plan a career path, and learn about their financial aid options.”
EOC Specialists will be on-site at the Day of the Dead event to answer questions and set up advising appointments. The Texarkana College Educational Opportunity Center is funded through a grant from the United States Department of Education. For more information, please contact TC’s EOC specialists by calling 903-823-3012 or by visiting their web page at https://www.texarkanacollege.edu/educational-opportunity-center.