Dia De Los Muertos + Fan Fest (Austin Style)

November 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

What a busy weekend of fun here in Austin, TX.  Between Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos, Formula 1 and the accompanying Fan Fest, we can only be thankful for getting another hour of playtime out of Daylight Savings.

On Saturday, I headed into work a little bit early, with the intention of basking in the glorious sunshine for a few minutes before donning the coffee shop apron.  Good decision.  I crossed under the temporary bridge:

Waller Creek Walkwayh
, and came out at the Mexican American Cultural Center:

MexicanCulturalCenter
, where they were setting up for the Dia De Los Muertos celebrations:

DiaDeMuertos2
I can’t believe that I have lived in Texas as long as I have without ever partaking in this Mexican party.  I’ve been missing out!  There was an impressive, elaborate altar at the entrance:

DiaDeLosMuertosDisplay
, a display of past posters:

DiaDeLosMuertosPoster
, plenty of skeletons all over the place:

DiaDeLosMuertosSigns
, and the mandatory tricolor of jalapeños:

DiaDeLosMuertosJalapenos
Inside was an assembly of altars, each of them decorated to the character of the deceased (and many of them of them offering cookies or treats and family members to chat with).  I love the festive, colorful take on celebrating the spirit of the person- a celebration of life, rather than a mourning of death.  And I enjoyed creating the personalities of the people that have passed away based on their altars… from artsy to literary to whiskey-ish to earthy:

DiaDeLosMuertosTableDisplay

Outside were various school contributions to the holiday:

DiaDeLosMuertosSkeletons
, a line of very stereotypical vintage cars:

DiaDeLosMuertosCar
(, with all of their little details:)
DiaDe Muertos
, and traditional dance performances:

DiaDeLosMuertosDancing
I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through all of the happenings, and befriended a skeleton mannequin with a lace fan before heading out:

DiaDeLosMuertosFan

Then, it was time to rush off to work for the day and pour wines and make coffees.  We ended up closing early because all of Austin (and the rest of the world, it seems) was a few blocks north of us, at the Fan Fest that took over Austin this weekend.  So, I hopped on that bandwagon for a couple of hours.  It’s been a good year or two since I dipped my toes into downtown festivities:

FanFestDowntown

But, the cold front that blew in and mass wave of Europeans everywhere made it more than bearable.  As did Grupo Fantasma, the lure that succeeded in making me take a detour on the way home:

FanFestGrupoFantasma

It was a good session of latino music, dancing with homeless people in the streets and being surrounded by a marching band that took over as soon as Fantasma’s last song ended and started a mass migration through the street to the next stage.

There was also the mandatory Formula 1 sponsor displays, such as Red Bull:

FanFestRedBullCar

, and Topo Chico (complete with a wheel of Topo fortune!):

FanFestTopoChico
It was s short, sweet stroll through the shifted center, between packed sidewalk cafe’s:

FanFestDowntown2
, and amidst temporary interactive installations:

HotDogSk8er

I guess that every place has its vibes, its positives and characteristics that keep it its own.  And there’s no lack of color and sound and energy to Austin.  And, y’know… the pride that comes with carrying that flag:

FanFestTrashCan

Because we got this, world.  We’re keeping it weird, and you don’t want to mess with that.

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