News Photos By Ric McGinnis
Riverbank residents celebrated the spirits of their deceased friends and family members on Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, on Friday, Nov. 3, in downtown Riverbank.
The celebration featured a number of activities on Third Street, stretching from Topeka to Stanislaus streets, and a bit of Santa Fe at the intersection. In the middle of it was a large community altar the city prepared for those who didn’t want to make a complete altar of their own.
The traditional altars were featured in one block of the street, in front of City Hall North. They are intended to assist the souls of the deceased in reaching heaven so they can rest in peace.
Decorations on the altars featured photos of the deceased, along with colorful decorations and items that will help remind the spirit that it is dead so it doesn’t remain wandering the earth.
In addition to the altars, a number of booths featured food or beverages, along with crafts, garments and other goods for sale.
On the Centennial Stage in Plaza del Rio Park, entertainment was seen and heard throughout the evening. Music was playing for a time on the city’s downtown sound system, then the Ballet Folklorico troupe performed on the stage.
As darkness fell, festival lights illuminated the several blocks of the celebration, along with colorful pennants and other decorations. The entertainment was scheduled to last until 9 p.m., with a musical group performing after the dancers finished.
Of course, the Folklorico group, being made up of dancers from youngsters to oldsters, brought along family members that crowded the audience area, leading to a standing room only crowd.