REMINDER: Celebrate Dia de las Muertes & Night Of 1,000 Pumpkins Today/Tonight At B/ IAS

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Just when you thought that the fun with the skeletons and candy were done, today (Sunday, Nov. 1st) is the official start of Dia de las Muertes, an Hispanic celebration also known as “Day of the Dead.”

We here at The B-Town Blog love this celebration so much that we’ll be at Burien’s only known commemoration starting at 3:30pm, at the Interim Art Space on SW 151st just north of the new Town Square – it’s “Night of 1,000 Pumpkins”!

Sadly, this will be the final event held at B/ IAS before the dismantling begins and the space returns to an empty lot Dec. 31st – all the more reason to come up and celebrate one last time.

In case you’re not familiar with Dia de las Muertes, here’s some info from Wikipedia:

The Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos or All Souls’ Day) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Latin Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day which occurs on November 1st and All Souls’ Day which occurs on November 2nd. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Original Artwork by Danielle Burton. Click image to see large version.

The fun begins today at 3:30pm and goes until dark:

  • Bring a carved Pumpkin (or more) with a candle to fill the site with 1,000 lit pumpkins (you can also carve one there)
  • Bring something for the community Dia de las Muertes altar (photos of the departed, trinkets, symbols of their lives, etc.)
  • Walk through the makeshift cemetery
  • Dress up in Day of the Dead costumes/makeup (Calaveras, or skeleton costumes are perfect)
  • Pay tribute to your departed loved ones and gather with your neighbor over food, drink and dance
  • Celebrate your community, your family and friends one final time at this innovative space
  • Face Painting
  • Flower Making
  • Grand Pumpkin Games
  • Sand Painting by artist Amaranta Sandys in the lobby of the Burien Library
  • Traditional foods and vendors
  • Community created Altars


  • 4:30 to 6:30: Trio Lucero del Norte on the B/ IAS Site (Roots Music / Regional Mexican / Folk); 
Trío Lucero del Norte play traditional/regional Mexican music from the Huasteca. Specialists in son huasteco and huapango, they are currently the only local group who play son huasteco with the complete ensemble: violin, jarana and quinta huapanguera. Son huasteco is the zapateado style of Mexican son from the Huasteca region. It formed the basis for many styles of huapango that became popular throughout Greater Mexico. The Huasteca region encompasses the plains region of six states: Hidalgo, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Veracruz and Tamaulipas.
In addition to sones huastecos and huapangos, Trío Lucero del Norte interpret sones de costumbre for Day of the Dead and Carnaval, sones and cumbias in Náhuatl and Huastecan regional stylings of polkas, canciones rancheras, boleros and cumbias. The three members: Jose Hernández (violin), Modesto Antonio Hernández (quinta huapanguera) and Kim Carter Muñoz (jarana), met when Kim posted an add in the El Paisano, a Mexican Carnicaría/Grocery in White Center.
Kim traveled to Mexico for several years to study son huasteco and sones de costumbre for her graduate studies in Ethnomusicology. After playing with well-known son huasteco musicians in Mexico, including Los Cantores de Pánuco, Soraima y Sus Huastecos, Trio Chicóntepec, Los Caporales de Pánuco and others, she wanted to form her own trío in Seattle.
  • 5:30 to 6:30: Los Flacos At the Burien Library; Join with Los Flacos for a musical celebration of El Día de los Muertos. This Latino music group performs a blend of the traditional sounds of Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. Using a variety of instruments, some indigenous to the Americas and others of European and African origin, they create their own renditions of the songs of Latin America. Gather together with friends at the Burien Library to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died. For More info on Los Flacos.
  • 6:30 to 7:30: Pyrosutra on the B/ IAS Site; Pyrosutra is a fire dance collective based out of Seattle, Washington. We combine choreographed bellydance, breakdance and stilt walking with a wide range of professional fire performance techniques and innovative tools.
  • 7:30 to 9:30: La Banda Gozona on the B/ IAS Site

Tapetes de Arena or Sand paintings
These “murals” are typically made of sand, sawdust, seeds, flower petals, and pigments. Traditionally, a tapete is made in the home when there is a death in the family. After a period of mourning, the tapete is swept up and entombed with the body of the deceased. Tapetes are also created all over Oaxaca for the Días de los Muertos celebration, and judged along with the ofrendas in the Concursos de Altares de Muertos.

Amaranta Sandys is been collaborating in the making of sandpaintings with Latino artists in Seattle for the last 10 years @ SAM and Tacoma Art Musuem.

We think that if you dig Tim Burton or Danny Elfman, or love Hispanic culture (or even just good ol’ fashioned dead people), you’re sure to enjoy this event (and we can assure you, we’ll be there…).

All pumpkins will be composted through a gift from King County Solid Waste.

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5 Responses to “REMINDER: Celebrate Dia de las Muertes & Night Of 1,000 Pumpkins Today/Tonight At B/ IAS”
  1. JB says:

    That was a wonderful night!
    Huge THANK YOU to everyone for putting on such a great party.

  2. Rainycity says:

    That was really fun last night, this is something that should continue there.
    You could even get warm if you got chilly.
    Anybody mind telling me why they going to dismantel it all and return it to an empty lot?

  3. Next year we also need to have a Day of the Dead parade. I understand that in Mexico this is a big event and they have huge parades. It would be a lot of fun.

  4. Rob says:

    Bias is only a one year project folks. So now we say goodbye to the artwork, the community events, the carnivals, the p-pacthes. Damn shame IMO. The city owes a great big thanks to Dane Johnson and Kathy Justin for doing this for a year. They put up with the bull crap and the Fire Chief of Burien. I say snaps to Dane and Kathy

  5. Rob says:

    More Videos, pumpkin pics and such here

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