33rd Annual Festival de la Vida Celebration in San Jose, CA

In Celebrations

Last year’s Day of the Dead presentation was a huge hit at SJSU – MLK Library. This year’s celebration will take place in the charming CET Theater at 701 Vine Street in San Jose. It will be the 33rd Annual Festival de la Vida Celebration!!

Elena Robles will present a talk and show some of her photographic investigations for Day of the Dead over the last 24 years…in slides of images from inside the more remote areas of Mexico. The rest of the show this year will be more even larger than last year, with student and professional entertainers, mariachis, and a formal Ceremonia Azteca.

It is a great show for students, families, adults and kids. There is something for everyone and the public can participate, too, by bringing a small picture of those whose memory they wish to honor to place on the ofrenda before the program starts or during a moving procession (after the intermission) to the verses of a beautiful song, sung by a beautiful woman: professional vocalist Vanessa Molina.

There will be a special musical homage to Cesar Chavez, Dr. Anthony Soto (from SJSU and founder of CET); among the many workers who came to this valley and worked hard to open doors of opportunity for our children. Some of the singers who were part of that great movement in the 60’s,70’s and 80’s will be in the show singing some amazing songs and accompanying a large group of teens and children as they sing the classic movimiento song, De Colores.

On one of the two performance evenings (still negotiating), a artisan from the Mexican State of Puebla, whose family has been involved in the art of making sugar skulls for 7 generations, will be demonstrating his traditional craft and selling personalized sugar skulls. There will be artisan silver jewelry from Taxco and bilingual books for sale. El Gigante Awakens will have a table selling that amazing video of the May 1, 2006 march. You will be able to place future orders for delicious Pan de Muerto (muertitos) by the dozen for family, friends or classrooms.

And last, but not least, Mariachi Jalisco will continue to play for an additional half hour after the last folklórico dance, taking requests from the public as people talk with the artists, get autographs, buy goods, and view the ofrenda.

The organizers hope the public will come and support the Immigration and Citizenship Program. All tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door – and completely tax-deductible!!

Tickets are available at Center for Employment Training, 701 Vine Street in San Jose in the ICP Office. If you have a large group or want to RSVP, tickets can be held at the Will-Call window that night for a pre-event price of $10.

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