Old Town prepares for Día de los Muertos celebrations

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – For the first time, the Historic Old Town Association is going all in for Día de los Muertos.

KOB 4 went to talk to the guys getting decorations ready and got a sneak peek at what’s coming.

“We have over 15,000 feet, and you can see they’re gorgeous, they’re stunning, and when they’re decorated on a building they make it pop,” said JJ Mancini, president of the Historic Old Town Association. 

Mancini is putting the power tools to work.

“Yea, I’ve done a little bit of woodworking, enough to make really bad pieces of furniture,” said Mancini. 

He’s constructing the massive ofrenda – a six-foot tall altar that will sit inside the Old Town Plaza gazebo for Día de los Muertos.

“You can see the actual ofrenda in the back and all the different marigolds,” Mancini said. “This is the first time, in a very long time, residents, property owners, merchants are all coming together for one large event.” 

Tessa Coates grew up here, and has owned Luna and Luz in Old Town for the past couple years.

“We’ve kind of created a very different experience in here. It’s not what you would normally would find,” said Coates. 

She says the events they have planned starting this weekend and the people working together to put them on is proof Old Town is no longer just for the tourists.

“Of course we have, just, something for everyone,” Coates said. “It takes a whole village, I mean, this is our little village.”

Children from local schools will decorate the ofrenda in the gazebo, but there will more than 25 altars all over Old Town for people to honor the memories of their loved ones – even the memories of peoples’ pets.

“In our modern American culture we don’t have a process of remembering, in a celebratory way, those who we’ve lost,” said Mancini. 

Bringing some life for the day of the dead.

“We want Old Town to be the cultural and community hub of Albuquerque again, as it should be,” said Mancini. 

For more information on Old Town’s Día de los Muertos celebration, click here.