Day of the ‘Ped’

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Photographs by Lisa Luevanos

The activity might not be enough to wake the dead, but the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SBDA) is nevertheless resurrecting last year’s Run of the Dead in celebration of Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

Beginning at the Patton Park Recreation Center on Woodmere, joggers sporting ribbons honoring departed loved ones run through Woodmere and Holy Cross cemeteries against a backdrop of entertainment and art. The Living Arts Dance Collage also returns, performing a classical, ballet-style Danse Macabre (French for “dance of death”). “It’s the focal point of the cemetery,” Vittoria Katanski, SBDA marketing director, says of the performance. “There are 10 dancers on a beautiful hill, moving in and out of gravestones.”

The celebration reconvenes Nov. 1 and 2 when Mexicantown becomes a display of holiday-themed art. West Vernor storefronts will display ofrendas (Spanish for “offerings”), which are public altars decorated with gifts for the deceased. Some stores will also showcase local art made for the occasion.

“Last year, Vito Valdez created a beautiful, moving piece for his recently deceased partner, Mary Herbeck,” Katanski says. “It’s a time to remember those who’ve passed away.

“We want to tell the story of a deceased person’s life through a visual piece.”

Run of the Dead begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at noon Oct. 29. Prices: $25 for the 5k, $30 for 10k runs. Day of the Dead ofrenda tours are available by appointment. Information: savorsouthwestdetroit.org.


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