Dia De Los Muertos is a Hispanic Holiday but it is celebrated worldwide and definitely in Palmer, Alaska. You may know of it from the movie Coco. Or perhaps you are a Frieda fan. Sometimes it gets mixed up with Halloween, but it is distinctly different. It is the day (days) of honoring the dead. It comes at this time of year specifically because of the melancholia stirred up by the changing of the season.This is the time of year when the veil is thin between the living and the dying. This isn’t just one religious culture…this special time of year is recognized all around the world.
Graves are cleaned. Ancestors are honored. Children. parents and grandparents are remembered. Keeping the spirit and welcoming the memory of loved ones is admittedly one of my favorite celebrations.
In Palmer, the United Protestant Presbyterian Church (The Church of 1000 Logs) has recognized this important cultural holy day.
There is usually a meaningful altar of remembrance, which includes photos of loved ones. There are colorful flags, favorite foods, flowers and joyful reminders.
Over at the Palmer Downtown Deli you will see more than a few original paintings honoring Dia De Los Muertos.
In years past the Palmer Museum of History and Art has had Ofrenda Recuerdos or extensive displays of individual recognition.
No doubt you will see some Sugar Skulls and other commercial trappings of the holiday. But the real meaning of this event is honoring our people, whom we have loved.
The actual event days are November 1, All Saints Day and November 2, All Souls Day. Saturday November 3 will be a prayer labyrinth and Day of the Dead Celebration on Sunday, November 4.
Local Monthly Event Helps the Jingle—The Palmer Cash Mob meets this Thursday night at the Caboose Lounge at the Valley Hotel on Main Street. What is a cash mob? (It sounds a bit scary doesn’t it?) Well, it isn’t scary at all; it is basically a group of people (age, gender, political persuasion doesn’t matter) who gather together once a month, share some food, enjoy some conversation and laughter, and then converge on one local Palmer shopkeeper and spend twenty dollars. The chosen community-minded business is selected by a random drawing. The entire goal is to have fun, meet new people, and welcome happy commerce in our town. So on Thursday, head over to the Caboose lounge, anytime after 5. You will definitely have a great time.
Palmer Renaissance This Sunday—The last Sunday of the month is the day when artists collect at the Palmer Downtown Deli to paint a portrait. This month’s model is Maranatha Jubilee, and she is a beautiful cowgirl. Painters will gather and set up their easels. This is an all afternoon event, because paintings take time. Some come early to enjoy the best Sunday brunch in the Valley. Others come in the afternoon to eat and observe and leisurely chat. This is one of the sweet little Palmer events which makes Palmer special.
Halloween or Pumpkin Time in Palmer—There are so many events this weekend and most of them are focusing on the Halloweenish time of year. It is impossible to list all of them so just plug in Palmer and Halloween and you will get the full selection. Nearly every Palmer establishment has a pumpkin party going on.
HAZMAT days is Wednesday and Saturday this week at the Matanuska Susitna Borough Solid Waste Landfill on 49th street. All borough residents may dispose of up to 40 pounds of hazardous waste free. This includes all sorts of icky substances which you don’t want in the landfill. These drop-off day help when you’re finishing up the winter prep of that shed, barn or garage.
Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff on the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group.