Taylorites preserved the memories of their dearest loved ones by celebrating Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de los Muertos at Taylor Station Saturday, Nov. 2.

 The night was filled with love and celebration of the lost lives of loved ones of local residents, who had all had their own special ways of celebrating them.

There was an Ofrenda, which is Spanish for “offering,” is a symbolic way of honoring those loved ones with a decorated alter with the pictures of those loved ones, as well as candles and mementos that symbolize them.

Anna O’ Campo has been hosting the event for seven years and the proceeds to go local churches.

“We raise funds for the Lady of Guadalupe church cemetery,” she said. “We’re trying to build a fence and some gates because we’ve a lot of illegal activity out there. People have been throwing trash out there and homeless people even sleep there.

She also said the event receives donations from local officials and all the raffle money goes to the cemetery.

The holiday began on Halloween and ended Nov. 2 and is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the memories of passed family members.

Wearing traditional Day of the Dead clothing and face paint, attendee Gracie Hidrogo said the holiday symbolizes honoring her family members.

“Their lives live on and you want to remember them,” she said. “Not only as them passing, but keeping their memory alive.”

Hidrogo also said her clothes and makeup were ideas from YouTube and she’s been dressing up for three years.

Also in face paint, mother and daughter Anna Villanueua and Amiya Vasquez said their makeup took an hour. 

The holiday, for Villanueua, means spending time with loved ones.

“It’s sharing memories, bringing out pictures and sharing food and gathering with each other,” she said

Day of the Dead has grown to be a more mainstream holiday and Villanueua said she’d like to see a parade for the holiday.

That’d be cool to see and have and maybe more people would dress up,” she said.

O’ Campo said Day of the Dead had more humble beginnings and she’d like to see it become a holiday.

“In my mom’s day, it used to be celebrated in a cemetery,” she said. “They’d light up the gravesites with candles and special food and build a fire and sat around to wait for their loved ones to visit. I’d love for it to grow into a national holiday. That seems a little out there but we do Halloween and this is kind of the extension of that.”

Live bands performed and there were raffles being drawn for major prizes, like a big screen TV and a table.

Villanueua said this year’s celebration was very personal for her.

“My nephew passed away a couple of years ago,” she said. “My grandparents and my dad passed away also. We also had a friend pass away last Friday, [so we’re honoring all of them.]”

O’ Campo said she honors her father and brother, who have passed away, as well as her father-in-law.

“We set out pictures,” she said. “My dad liked lone star beer, so we put out a can of lone star beer. We put out whatever we can to remember them.”

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