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Estacada librarians hosts Day of the Dead celebration for community on Oct. 29

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Estacada youth services librarian Deborah VanDetta helps an attendee of the librarys Dia de los Muertos event make a paper marigold. To honor not only loved ones who've passed, but Hispanic heritage, the Estacada Library hosted a celebration of Dia de los Muertos on Oct. 29.

Several families came out to meet representatives for nonprofit organizations Nuevo Futuro and Todos Juntos — which have similar missions of empowering families and youths — decorate sugar skulls, create paper marigolds, have their faces painted, pick up free books in English and Spanish and more on Saturday.

"This is one of my favorite events we do," said youth services librarian Deborah VanDetta. "I like that this reaches out to a part of the community we don't always get into the library."PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Children delighted in having their faces painted in bright colors and fantastical patterns at the Estacada Librarys Dia de los Muertos event on Oct. 29.

While there is a fairly large Hispanic community in the Estacada area, not all know the library is a safe space for all to learn, have fun and just be.

Several folks of Hispanic heritage did attend the event, and also numerous others.

"We want people to know about and understand there are other holidays celebrated by other cultures going on all the time," VanDetta said. PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Free books were all the rave, aside from the other fun activities, at the Estacada Librarys Oct. 29 event.

She added that she personally sees Dia de los Muertos as a beautiful holiday and that from learning about the holiday, she's also begun "thinking about death as just another phase of life, and that is really comforting."

Within the first hour, VanDetta described the turnout as "encouraging."

"I hope everybody enjoys this event and learns something new," she added. "I hope families appreciate it and make community connections and have fun." PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Estacada Library staff made an altar to commemorate Dia de los Muertos at the Oct. 29 event and honor loved ones who have passed.

Other than Dia de los Muertos, the library also has plans to bring back cooking and dancing classes that honor and educate on Hispanic heritage, and the staff also celebrates Dia de los Ninos. For bibliophiles, there is also a Spanish language collection at the library, but, VanDetta said: "We're always open to patron requests for materials." PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - The Estacada Dio de los Muertos event featured a chance to make your own mango smoothie with an electric bike-powered blender, provided by the OSU Extension.

For more information about Estacada Library programs, visit PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Decorating sugar skulls was one of many popular activities at the Estacada Librarys Dia de los Muertos celebration on Oct. 29.

PMG PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN  - Free books were all the rave, aside from the other fun activities, at the Estacada Library's Oct. 29 event.

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