Kingsbury, Southwind take first in parade float competition

SCS schools honor Dia de los Muertos by participating in parade

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Kingsbury, Southwind take first in parade float competition

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Bright colors, skulls and lots of flowers could be seen everywhere one looked at the Dia de los Muertos Parade and Festival on Saturday.

Shelby County School district was well-represented this weekend at the Dia de los Muertos Parade and Festival at Overton Square.

The festival continued at the Brooks Museum following the parade.

Kingsbury, along with Southwind High School, created a float to honor Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

The float featured lots of floral arrangements and incredible student artwork of Aretha Franklin and Juan Gabriel. Franklin, a Memphis, Tenn. native, was honored on the float because she died earlier this year and had ties to Memphis.

The parade and festival were sponsored by Cazateatro, the state’s only bilingual theatre group.

Cazateatro owner Dorimar Ferrer says the mission of the group is to build a bridge between cultures, and that was the goal of the festival and parade as well.

“If we want a better city, we need to go out and know about people in other cultures,” Ferrer said.

The festival and parade were open to all participants who wanted to honor Day of the Dead. Ferrer said the only real requirement is to ensure no Halloween costumes are worn.

”This day is not Halloween,” she said. “Everything needs to be for the Day of the Dead.”

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated to honor the lives of those who have died, Kingsbury Spanish Teacher Ms.  Santamaria said. It’s a multi-day holiday that focused on gathering friends and family to pray and remember friends or family who have died, she said. The holiday is the evening of Oct. 31 until Nov. 2.

Alaya Grayson, a senior at Kingsbury, said she was happy to dedicate her Saturday to celebrating the culture. Grayson, a member of the International Club, said she participated because she loves to experience cultures different than her own. She also helped put together the float featured in the parade.

Grayson worked on the float Friday evening and Saturday morning before the parade. She was thrilled to win first place in the float competition.

“Winning first showed how hard we actually worked,” she said. “It feels really great to win first place.”

Both Southwind High and Kingsbury students and teachers contributed to the success of the float.