The city of Aurora is celebrating a Mexican holiday by displaying sweet skeleton expressions throughout its downtown area.
The Day of the Dead, also known as All Souls' Day, is when Mexican families welcome back the souls of their loved ones who passed away. Sugar skull art is normally made during this time.
Marissa Amoni is the manager of Aurora Downtown. She said Jose Torres started organizing the holiday events in the city 11 years ago. This year Aurora Downtown added Sugar Skull City to the roster.
“We have a few artists who painted storefronts, and that includes Jose Art [Sanchez], Joe Gagnepain and Pierre Lucero. And then we had two dozen artists who submitted to our call for artists, or rather our call for art for the sugar skull prints," she explained.
Spectators can take part in a scavenger hunt by taking pictures of skulls and even ofrendas, which are altars that show respect to deceased loved ones.
“And then if they post a picture and #sugarskullcity, then we will enter them into a raffle to win some fun prizes. We have Sugar Skull City tote bags that are filled with Mexican candy, stickers, a bookmark, and it'll be a lot of fun,” Amoni said. “And people can also purchase those totes at Wyckwood House and the Cottonseed Creative Exchange in downtown Aurora.”
Residents will also have virtual options. These include video tutorials for making sugar skulls and a video of Aztec dancers doing their Day of the Dead dance routine. Videos will be posted on Aurora Downtown’s social media pages.
Prints of the art will be available via an online auction. That date hasn’t been determined yet but Amoni said it will be after Nov. 25.
Aurora’s Sugar Skull City runs from Oct. 15 through Nov. 15.
- Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.