A giant replica of a sugar skull will greet visitors to the Cheyenne Botanic Garden on Friday and Saturday as the facility takes part in the traditional Mexican holiday of Dia De Los Muertos or “Day of the Dead.”
Activities on Friday and Saturday will educate visitors on the holiday, which is set aside as a day for people to remember friends and family members who have died.
And since the event is being held at the Botanic Garden, much of that education will focus on how flowers figure into the celebration, said Director Tina Worthman.
“There will be a lot about the flowers that are significant to the Day of the Dead,” she said. “So we’ll have a lot of marigolds. They are one of the most commonly used flowers for the Day of Dead. They grow particularly well in Mexico and they’re colorful.”
The Botanic Gardens has been growing marigolds especially for the celebration for months, Worthman said, and will have other special flowers on display throughout the event, along with signs explaining the significance of the flowers to the celebration.
“It’s a nice way to bring in the significance of the botanical world to something like this,” She said. “It’s a special niche we have where we can explain that significance.”
The special display will open on Friday at 11 a.m. A giant “sugar skull,” a traditional candy served during the celebration, will greet visitors as they enter the Botanic Gardens while in the facility’s Conservatory, people can leave momentos in honor of their departed loved ones on one of several “ofrendas” or altars on display.
Authentic Mexican food will also be available for purchase from Cheyenne food vendors both Friday and Saturday.
On Saturday, activities will run from 1 to 5 p.m. and feature live performances by mariachi bands and dancers.
In the Botanic Gardens’ classroom, children will be invited to take part in crafts such as the creation of flower crowns and the decoration of pots adorned with sugar skulls. Children will also get a chance to help create a mural on the floor of the Children’s Village.
For more information, visit the Botanic Gardens website at Botanic.org/classes or the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Facebook page.