Build a Dia de los Muertos Altar

Two family craft nights are planned at the Watsonville libraries this week.

Building altars to honor loved ones who've died is central to Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, and one that will be embraced this year at Watsonville libraries.

Each library branch will host a Día de los Muertos Family Craft and Community Altars activity this week. Participants can sugar skulls and make paper flowers for a community altar, or create small altars to take home with them. 

"It ties into our community," explained librarian Susan Renison.

In the past, library staff created altars to display in the fall—Dia de los Muertos is Nov. 1—but hope this community event will become an annual occurrence.

"There's been tremendous response," Renison said.

Watsonville High students will come to help younger kids make paper flowers and skeleton masks, set for Monday at the Main Library on Main Street and Wednesday at the Freedom Branch. Both programs begin at 6 p.m.

Library staff will make altars for local poets Adrienne Rich and Jeff Tagami.

Altars will be displayed at both libraries Oct. 29 to Nov. 9.

The craft nights are free to take part in. Bring a shoebox, if you have one, and tokens representing the person you are honoring with the altar. Altars can be taken home or left on display at the library (you get them back when the display is taken down next month).

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