The Bell County Museum held its annual Dia de los Muertos celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. The event, which featured arts and crafts, face painting, folklorico dancing and an ofrenda served as a welcoming opportunity for families to gather and celebrate the lives of their departed loved ones.

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Hispanic holiday during which participants remember late friends and family members as well as support them in their spiritual journeys after death. The occasion is celebrated yearly from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

Attendees commented on what the holiday meant to them.

“It’s a great way to remember and celebrate the lives of our ancestors,” Estrella Nieto said.

Similar to Nieto, the general consensus among eventgoers seemed to be that while all the unique festivities are pleasant, remembrance should be the primary focus.

“Sure, the masks and crafts are neat, but we can’t forget what all of this represents,” Antonio Cortez said. “That’s really why we celebrate; to honor those who have passed.”

Participants also offered their appreciation for the event’s influence in connecting people.

“I think it’s a nice way to involve the community and bring families together,” Nieto said.

“I’m happy with the turnout,” Kayte Ricketts, the event’s coordinator, said. “I hope everybody keeps coming out and having fun with us.”