By Miriam Meza –
First Fridays continues to thrive at the Aurora Public Library (APL) when this month’s theme was Day of the Dead, which featured the fourth annual ofrenda competition! The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a celebration in Latin America that has become especially popular after the release of the movie Coco. This day honors the dead through festivities, music, food, and ofrendas. A recognized symbol of this day is the skull, which many customers showcased through face paint or parade masks. The Library offered a skull mask craft for kids to decorate and wear for the night.
Exhibited throughout our atrium, as part of our competition, were ofrendas. Ofrendas are altars honoring those who have passed away. We spotted items throughout the ofrenda competition from photos to favorite foods and even memoirs of those deceased. In addition, traditional items representing the four elements of earth, air, water, and fire were displayed throughout the altars. Elements included a glass of water, crafted paper, candles, and many more. All items are said to guide the deceased through a journey as they visit us.
We are grateful to all those community members and organizations who shared the ofrendas of their loved ones with us. Ofrendas displayed honored in memorial APL librarian Dan Smolla, library trustee Delia Basile’s mother, women who have gone missing from their homes in Illinois, and many more. The ofrenda winners were honored at the beginning of First Fridays.
The third-place winner was Mary Garza and her Girl Scouts; second place was Delia Basile; and the grand-prize winner was St. Augustine College. They were awarded with plaques made from the Santori Makerspace. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all those who participated!
As we move into the Winter season, we are thrilled to continue to reflect many holidays, traditions, and celebrations at the Aurora Public Library. Don’t miss out on the Santori First Fridays: Trees of Many Lands where we celebrate the holiday season!
And in case you are wondering about me, I’m Miriam Meza, the communications manager at the Aurora Public Library. I’m thrilled to be here and hope you follow my articles. A little bit about me: I am new to the Aurora area and am really looking forward to immersing myself into the community. I’ve ridden my bike around trails and walked my beagle through a few neighborhoods, but still will take any recommendations you may have on must-see places. Stay tuned and don’t be shy. Say hello, or hola, because I’m bilingual.