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Albuquerque’s annual ‘Dia de los Muertos’ parade canceled

July 24, 2019
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In this Nov. 1, 2015 photo, attendees of the annual parade celebrating Día de los Muertos in Albuquerque, N.M.'s South Valley pose while waiting for the event to begin. Organizers of the Día de los Muertos Marigold Parade in Albuquerque recently announced it will not hold the event in 2019 because it has grown too big. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
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In this Nov. 1, 2015 photo, attendees of the annual parade celebrating Día de los Muertos in Albuquerque, N.M.'s South Valley pose while waiting for the event to begin. Organizers of the Día de los Muertos Marigold Parade in Albuquerque recently announced it will not hold the event in 2019 because it has grown too big. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An annual parade celebrating Día de los Muertos in Albuquerque’s South Valley has been canceled this year, organizers announced.

The nonprofit group responsible for putting together the Día de los Muertos Marigold Parade said in a statement it will not hold the event in 2019 because it has grown too big.

The Marigold Parade said on its website that last year’s gathering attracted around 17,000 people and the group has decided to scrap the November event amid concerns from residents and county officials.

“Since the last parade in 2018, it has become apparent that our event has grown at a rate that we could not have anticipated,” the group said. “The Muertos y Marigolds Organizing Committee has had to take a step back to address the issues and rededicate our efforts to the Committee’s mission.”

The group says it intends to restructure the event.

Held annually in a historic Hispanic enclave, the parade attracts thousands of attendees in Día de los Muertos attire who watch participants on well-designed floats and vintage lowriders.

For more than a quarter of a century, it has become one of central New Mexico’s most popular events.

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, honors departed souls of loved ones who are welcomed back for a few intimate hours. At burial sites or intricately built altars, photos of loved ones are centered on skeleton figurines, bright decorations, candles, candy and other offerings such as the favorite foods of the departed.

Pre-Columbian in origin, many of the themes and rituals now are mixtures of indigenous practices and Roman Catholicism.

The holiday is celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil and parts of Ecuador.

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