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To kick off November, the cultural center will partake in a traditional celebration of life

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Chehalem Cultural Center will host a Dia De Los Muertes event that kicks off Nov. 2 and continues through Nov. 7.

The Chehalem Cultural Center, as part of its honoring of Hispanic Heritage Month, will host a Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event that kicks off Nov. 2 and lasts through Nov. 7.

Their celebration will feature culturally traditional activities and celebrations throughout the week, leading up to a grand event on Nov. 7 that will feature a performance, food and more that celebrates the Hispanic community in Newberg and Yamhill County.

An ofrenda, which is an altar where people place photographs of loved ones along with food and favorite items such as toys or musical instruments of loved ones who have passed away, will be set up in the grand lobby of the cultural center. This is traditional in Mexican culture, and the cultural center's ofrenda will be on display from 5 p.m. Nov. 2-7 for the community to come, view and learn about the traditions of Dia De Los Muertos.PMG FILE PHOTO - The Huehca Omeyocan Aztec dance troupe will perform the CCC's Day of the Dead event.

"This is a rich tradition that continues on in Mexico to this day," said Carissa Burkett, CCC director of arts programs. "On Nov. 7 at 5 p.m., at the end of our celebration, there will be Aztec dancing and a presentation by Huecha Omeyocan. The event will take place outdoors instead of in our ballroom. We will not be doing face painting or kids crafts due to COVID-19."

Attendees are encouraged to wear masks or face coverings in order to keep the community safe and slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is also encouraged at the event as families from throughout the area journey to celebrate a rich tradition.

Community stakeholders will be in attendance, both performing and serving food to patrons. The event is also being put on in partnership with a statewide entity.

"Huecha Omeyocan is a local Aztec dance group that has their weekly practice here at the center," Burkett explained. "Ricky's Taco Truck will be parked up at the center and selling food. We have partnered with Instituto de Cultura Oregoniana (ICO) in planning this and all of our Hispanic Heritage month events."

The celebration portion of the event starts at 5 p.m. Nov. 7 in the forecourt at the cultural center. More information is available on the center's Facebook page, where an event has been created and community members can make reservations. Additional info can be found on the organization's website at chehalemculturalcenter.org.


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