Friday, November 3, 2017

Milwaukee's Day of the Dead Celebration 2017

On this second day of Dio de los Muertos, I have a ton of photos to share with you guys from a local event in Milwaukee. There was a parade, as in previous years. There was more dancing this year than I remembered. Everywhere I looked, there was someone or something to take a picture of. People looked so beautiful. This first photo is one of my favorites. She's reminding me of Snow White, but with sugar skull makeup.

There were people in the park with photos of their loved ones.

And there were tributes, like this ofrenda for Sharon Jones. I'm a fan of hers, so I had to take a few photos of this.

A link to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings: "100 Days, 100 Nights"
That's my favorite song of hers. That video looks pretty believably vintage, doesn't it? It says under there that they filmed it using two vintage cameras they found on ebay.

Some bright skellie stuff for sale:

I think this skeletal hand is holding a candle?

The Badass:

The parade made its way over to the park area:

Pretty cool hat, hey?

The back of his ribcage:

And the front:

I was so happy with the timing on that one!

This outfit was reminding me a little of Jim Carrey in The Mask. It's a different mask, hat, and suit but still.

This one cracks me up. I think I've made that face on more than one occasion!

How beautiful is the blending on her makeup? So pretty. I think I just noticed a turtle drawn on her chin.

I really like how this one turned out, of all three of them. And I like the way they fill the composition.

This one is dramatic, probably because she's concentrating on taking a photo and the wind is blowing her veil around. Do you see the little skull peeking out in her headdress?

These two were on stilts and they were pretty talented with them! They were really dancing around at one point.

Boo! I'm finding this one pretty creepy as I'm looking at it now. I keep thinking I see eyes in there and then I don't.

Check out these tiny boots the stilts are resting in!

This picture was a fun surprise, because I got it while just moving my camera around the crowd and snapping pictures. I didn't even know there was face painting going on at the time!

Cool paper flower hat:

These next two make me say "Aww!"

Pretty spooky!

This is another favorite photo from the day. I keep wanting to make one of those flower headbands.

OK, now we're onto some really cute little kids and some dancing. There were three different dance segments. The first had all these little kids in masks.

The children danced and then this lady in white came out and whirled around her skirts and veils. They were dancing to that "La Llorona" song. If you're familiar with that song or the La Llorona story, you would probably interpret this dance the way I did. A link to one of the many versions of La Llorona on YouTube:

La Llorona (tradicional)

I thought this was an especially pretty sounding version of the song. So I'm taking a pretty good guess that this is the ghost La Llorona:

The La Llorona story is incredibly sad. Some of you who watched Grimm might remember an episode wrapped around this legend.

Maybe someone can help me understand this next set of dancers. They had flowerpots on their heads. I'm taking a total guess here and saying this dance had something to do with nature or maybe something seasonal? I'm probably saying that because of the flower pots and the natural autumn look of what they were wearing.

So cute. I enjoyed seeing all the different variations on the pot decorations.

I think these are shells? You could definitely hear them as the dancers moved. Again, anybody who knows anything about this, please let me know!

There were three drummers

So now we're getting into the last dance group. There were so many bright colors and feathers. For someone who loves taking photos, it was hard to know where to look first or who to concentrate on!

It was messing with me to see these sweet kids' faces under these pretty realistic looking skulls. I'm sure this is true to the Aztec dancing clothing. It's just that my brain was trying to process two things at once that I don't normally see going together.

This photo shows you how fast they were moving. I really like the movement of her braids with the feathers. That looks like a good way to wear your hair for dancing.

This last photo was one I took of one of the windows on The Walker's Point Center for the Arts. As you can see from my reflection, it was much warmer on the day I took this. I took this one on that visit to the antique store I shared. It's more or less down the block.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed these photos. I'd like to hear about any Day of the Dead events where you are. And if anyone out there can tell me more about the dancers pictured, please do!


  1. You know, I'm surprised Salem hasn't started any Dia de Los Muertos celebrations yet.

  2. Dex ~ I'm surprised too, although that would be a lot to set up the day after their huge Halloween celebrations. But I'm sure a different group of people that wasn't overwhelmed with Halloween preparations could plan a Day of the Dead parade for the next day. That's something to hopefully look forward to in the future!

    1. That is true! Considering how much goes into Halloween night, I think it would be a big undertaking to do something so close.

  3. These pictures are so amazing! Love them!
    Thanks for making my day!

    1. salti Loca ~ Welcome to my blog! Thank you so much! :) Aww, I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed my photos this much! Hearing that makes my day!

  4. Great photos! I didn't know Milwaukee celebrated the Day of Dead. You mention it is the second year for the parade. How did it get started?

    1. Alison ~ Thank you! :) Oh, it's way more than the second year. I'm trying to think how many years I've been seeing this. A good five or six, probably more. I just checked online and it's been going on since 2010. I looked back through my own blog posts and I have one about the parade from 2011. Time flies. :) Since I'm remembering a prior one to that, I'm thinking we've been going since this began!

      I'm not sure who got it going as a community event, although I'm thinking there was a prominent gallery owner who was a big part of it to begin with. We have a large Latino community in Milwaukee, and I'm sure people were having their own celebrations before opening this up to anyone who would like to take part or check it out. So my guess would be that some community leaders decided it would be cool to share their culture/educate people while celebrating.

  5. I did Enjoy all of the Eye Candy of the Dia de los Muertos Celebration in your part of the Country, Thanks for Sharing. I so Enjoyed ours here in Arizona, the weather was Sublime and I spent the entire day Saturday at the Event culminating with the Procesion.

    1. Bohemian ~ Thank you! :) I'm glad you enjoyed looking through my photos! I'm also glad to hear that you had a fun time at your local Day of the Dead event. We're both lucky to have the chance to check out these celebrations. I saw a photo pop up on my blog roll from your event. I'm looking forward to seeing your photos!

      Sounds like you had much nicer weather for yours. It was like winter here, with a very cold wind. I was bundled up in a winter coat, fluffy scarf, hat, and gloves. I was still freezing! I figured the dancers were the only comfortable people there since they were moving so much.