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West Sacramento News-Ledger

Festival of the Dead Grows

Nov 08, 2023 02:10PM ● By Michele Townsend

Dr. Cío Hernández (left) and Port of West Sacramento Community Alliance activist Leasley Campbell decorate the crowd with beauty and smiles. Photo courtesy of Leasley Campbell

WEST SACRAMENTO (MPG) - Community members gathered at Bryte on Sunday, November 5th, for the 3rd Annual Dia De Los Muertos, commonly known as the Day of the Dead Festival. This is an event of free family fun celebrating the dead loved ones who have passed on before us. Threatened by rain, the weather held out and sprinkled just enough to tease everyone. It quickly subsided and the event went on as scheduled.

Leasley Alvarado, who is part of Port of West Sacramento Community Alliance, a future non-profit organization (in development stages with a mission to improve our community through bringing knowledge, education, history and advocacy of the Port of West Sacramento, took the lead in organizing this year’s event and she did an outstanding job!

Leasley’s fiance, Tim Campbell is the President of the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Local 18 at the Port of West Sacramento and Leasley didn’t hesitate to put those Longshoremen to work. In addition to the support through donations, Longshoreman from Local 18 helped setup, decorate the park & tear down/clean up the entire event.  That’s not all they did. You saw them making and serving food, working at booths and assisting wherever they were needed.

Tim Campbell President Longshoreman and Warehouse Union Day of the Dead

Tim Campbell President of the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Danny have a father/son blast at the Day of the Dead Festival. Photo courtesy of Leasley Campbell

Guests of the event included: Representing her District, Councilwoman Norma Alcala, Mayor Martha Guerrero, recently appointed County Supervisor Mary Vixie Sandy, and the hundreds of community members that make our community what it is.

It is estimated that around 400 people attended the event. That count however came from knowing that 300 churros were brought to the event by California Burrito. Everyone was only allowed one, and they estimated that 100 people were turned away. In addition to the Churros, Thick Vatos Tacos  made over 800 tacos, out aguas frescas (flavored fresh waters), elote (Mexican street corn) and pan de muerto (day of the dead bread). Everything was free… and delicious.

The music entertainment for the day was provided by the popular, local favorites – Latin Party Crew. Dance entertainment was provided by Grupo Quetzalkoatl Ocelotl (Aztec Dance Group), Balance Dance Project (kid dance group) and the community members that were enjoying the music. Many people enjoyed the amazing chalk work, as Chalk It Up sponsored artist Nadia Garcia, who fascinated so many with her talent.

Events included ILWU Sponsored kid zone with traditional crafts, coloring, games, piñatas and activities. There was face painting for kids of all ages, sponsored by JM Productions and friends, and Lo-Lystics NorCal Car Club (who celebrates their 50 year anniversary of being in West Sacramento) held a lowryder show with over 20 cars decorated with altar setups.

Organizations participating with booths: ILWU Local 18, Got This App, Yolo County Supervisor, District 3, Mary Vixie Sandy, Computers 4 Kids, Habitat for Humanity, SSA Pacific, West Sacramento Christmas Basket Project, Bryte & Broderick Community Center, Three Sisters Gardens, VFW Post 8762, Mexican Consulate, Mercy Coalition, SNAP Network, First 5 Yolo, NY Life, Covered California, WSPD, CREO CommuniCare, Dolores Huerta Democratic Club, NAMI Yolo and WSUSD.

Sponsors of this event include: ILWU Local 18, WS Councilwoman Norma Alcala, Thick Vatos Tacos, Hart Management, SSA Pacific, Lo-Lystics Car Club, WS Mayor Martha Guerrero, UBEO Business Center, Mercado Loco, Hayes Brothers Auto Glass, Golden Rebel Spirit, Buena Vista Rancheria, Yolo County Supervisor District 3, Mary Vixie Sandy, Yolo County Supervisor District 1, Oscar Villegas, Recology Waste Zero, Latin Party Crew, Three Sisters Gardens, Sacramento Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, Port of West Sacramento Community Alliance , Supply Industrial Hardware, California Burrito , BBCan, Knights of Columbus Holy Cross #7634, Los Ríos College Federation of Teachers Sandy Peña, Andrew Truman Kim, The Campbell Family and Latino Info & Resource Center