Sonoma Community Center again this year celebrated Dia de los Muertos with the installation of a community public altar at the front of its East Napa Street building. The center hosted an outdoor celebration on Friday, Nov. 2 and the altar remains in place through Saturday, Nov. 10.
The center’s 12-foot altar, designed by local sculptor Jim Callahan, is decorated in lights, golden butterflies and portraits of Sonoma Valley’s passed loved ones and lost “heroes.” The community participated in the celebration by contributing to the altar’s portraits and providing brief descriptions of each person’s life and contributions to the community. Throughout the week, visitors participated in the memorial by dedicating paper butterflies to a loved one or bringing a small memento to be added to the altar.
Resident Dia de los Muertos artist and musician, Ernesto Hernandez-Olmos, was on-hand at the celebration providing historical insight and Meso-American music and folk songs.
“Those who have passed are still a part of our community,” said Eric Jackson, SCC’s creative projects manager. “And so we want to celebrate them and invite them back with a feast for the senses.”
The center is located at 276 E. Napa St.