Breaking News
More () »

Día de Los Muertos Parade and Festival begins new tradition in Dallas

Love, culture and tradition will be at the center of Saturday's celebrations.

DALLAS — Saturday will mark a historic day in Dallas as the city celebrates its first-ever Día de Los Muertos Parade and Festival.

Art, culture, food, love, tradition, the celebration of life and death will be the root of this event.

The celebration will include catrinas, dancers, music, floats and costumes. 

It will be a time to honor deceased loved ones and the entire familia is invited. 

Saturday’s event:

The best part of Saturday’s parade and festival is that it’s free to the public. The entire community of Dallas can take part in the tradition this year.

The festivities will begin at 4 p.m. and wrap up around 11 p.m. 

The parade will start and end at Dallas City Hall located at the 1500 block of Marilla Street.

Bring your hermanas, hermanos, ninos -- even your primos, because this is a family-friendly celebration. 

Of course, you can’t have a festival without food. Make sure you don't eat too much before the event because there will be concession stands with tacos, Día de Los Muertos bread and Michelada. 

And for those who love to dance, or just enjoy live music — mariachis will be performing. There's also going to be a tribute to Latino music artists including, Selena, Juan Gabriel and Celia Cruz.

If you're walking in memory of someone, you're encouraged to wear white or bring a special memento to honor a loved one. 

Credit: Día de Los Muertos
Map of Saturday's event

What is Día de Los Muertos?

Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that has been celebrated by the Latino community for years.

Día de Los Muertos is not a “Mexican Halloween" and is much more than sugar skulls and the movie Coco. 

It is a time for people to celebrate the life and death of late loved ones. 

Many honor those who passed away by visiting grave sites and decorating them with their loved one’s favorite foods or decorations. 

Others make alters at home. These ofrendas (offerings) often include photos, items that belonged to a loved one and even food that the person enjoyed. 

Credit: WFAA
Ofrendas for Dia de Los Muertos

Bringing the tradition to Dallas:

Mauricio and Norma Navarro are the visionaries of the parade. They both emigrated from Mexico wanted preserve and celebrate the tradition of Día de Los Muertos. 

"I’m humbled to be a part of a great group of visionaries who seek to build unity by honoring such a deep Mexican tradition,” Navarro said in a written statement. “Dallas welcomed me as a young professional more than 30 years ago, and today North Texas is home to more than two million Latinos. How amazing to be able to see our traditions celebrated at this scale and have the opportunity to share this with everyone.”

Honoring the Fallen Five:

Navarro wanted to make sure to stay true to the meaning of Día de Los Muertos: Remembering the fallen.

The year's parade will honor U.S. veterans and local law enforcement. 

The National Latino Law Enforcement Organization will also have a special float to honor the five fallen officers from the July 2016 ambush. 

More on WFAA:

RELATED: 'Day of the Dead' Barbie celebrates holiday honoring the dead

RELATED: Mexican celebration Day of the Dead comes to life for American retailers

RELATED: Learn to make Dead Bread for Dia de los Muertos