Dia de los Muertos Citywide Festival

2016 marks the 5th Annual Dia de los Muertos Citywide Festival in Topeka.

The Tonantzin Society is thrilled to welcome Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, featuring Mexican puppeteer, Eli Portugal, for the 2016 festival. The troupe will be in Topeka October 5-8 performing in schools and throughout the community. They will offer workshops during the street fair. 

Dia de los Muertos is a fusion of both old and new worlds. There are intermixed elements of the indigenous Aztec people and the Catholic Spaniards. sweet treats at Dia de los Muertos Street Fair in TopekaTo the Aztecs life was learning to embrace duality, including life and death, and the importance of remembering and honoring the ancestors was sacred to the community.

Symbols from the Aztecs play important roles in Dia de los Muertos. The skull is a reminder of life and death and images of calavera (skeleton) are prevalent - often displayed in humorous, loving and bittersweet folk art. Beautiful ofrendas (offerings or altars) are created celebrating the life of the deceased loved one. Dancing, music, flowers, carnivals and candlelight ceremonies are just a few of the ways in which this holiday is celebrated.

Día de los Muertos is not Halloween, nor is it morbid. This celebration is not exclusive to any religion. Additionally, this holiday is celebrated in many areas of Latin America and in numerous states across our country.

Read more about the history of Dia de los Muertos.

ofrenda at Dia de los Muertos Festival in Topeka

Events: ​

October 7th – November 2nd 

  • First Friday opening of 5th Annual Dia de los Muertos Art Show
  • Refreshments will be served. Face Painting and DDLM related items will be for sale!
  • Location: Haven Arts, 837 ½ N. Kansas Ave (NOTO Arts District)
  • Time: 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
  • Cost: FREE

​October 8th Street Fair

  • FAMILY FUN! Tonantzin Society and sponsors present the 5th Annual Dia de los Muertos Street Fair. Food vendors, craft vendors, fully loaded arts and crafts activities. Two stages of entertainment! Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Company bi-lingual puppet shows. Fun crafts for ADULTS!  A full line up of musical entertainment AND the wonderfully creative children’s 2nd Annual judged Frida & Diego Costume Contest!!! And much, much more…

  • Location: 800-900 blocks of Kansas Ave in the NOTO Arts District.

  • Time: Noon – 5:00 pm

  • Cost to Enter: FREE

​October 16 

  • Sugar Skull Decorating and Marigold Flower Making

  • ​Join us for an afternoon of learning how to make sugar skulls, decorate them with royal icing, foils and candies.  We will also be making paper marigolds. Each adult will get one large sugar skull to decorate and two small skulls per child.  Refreshments and music provided! Pre-registration is required. 20 adults and 20 children capacity.

  • Location: TBA

  • Time: Noon – 3 pm

  • Cost: FREE

​October 23  

  • Mask Making Workshop – ADULTS only!

  • (PLEASE NOTE THE AGE REQUIREMENTS) Only for ages 18 and over. What better way to relax on a fall afternoon than creating beautiful Dia de los Muertos Calavera masks? Please know seating is limited. We will have all the colored paper mache masks and tons of embellishments waiting for you! NOTE: seating is limited to 30 people. 

  • Location: NOTO ArtsPlace, 905 N. Kansas

  • Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

  • Cost: FREE

​October 28

  • Vigil & Community Procession

  • Join us along with Aztec Dance Grupo Huitzilopochtli for our 5th year bringing the community together to remember our loved ones with a Candlelight Vigil and Procession.  Click here for more information.  

  • Location: 814 N Kansas Ave. (Ballet Folklorico de Topeka)

  • Time: 6:30 pm

  • ​Cost: FREE

​October 30

  • Family Night

  • Join us as we present the incredible Dia de los Muertos movie, “The Book of Life”. We will also have the Kansas City Aztec dance group Mexica Calpulli Iskali.

  • Location: Kansas Children's Discovery Center

  • Time: 2 p.m.