Lanky, grinning skeletons with smirking sugar skulls symbolize November’s Día de los Muertos, the ancient celebration of loved ones in the afterlife. Dating back to Latin American populations before the Spaniards arrived, the Day of the Dead remains far more than just a Mexican Halloween. It’s an enduring mark of native cultures from the skulls we now shape from clay to the ofrendas (offerings) of food and drink for those of our tribe who have passed on.
Easter Seals of Central Texas’ inaugural Día de los Muertos Festival thus bursts with art, food, and hopefully barrels of marigolds. It also doubles as a celebration of Tejano giant Little Joe Hernandez’s 73rd birthday. Though his goatee’s grayed, he’s the same emphatic performer from Nixon, still cupping the microphone and emitting wails of pure emotion. With two Grammy wins in his nearly 60-year career of norteño, country, and mariachi, the Tejano king remains just that.
Also serenading Fiesta Gardens in honor of Little Joe is accordion legend Flaco Jiménez, whose playing at 74 spins you in a dozen different directions from the inside out. Jiménez takes the stage with Grammy-winning San Antonio conjunto group Los Texmaniacs alongside another veteran, Texas Tornado Augie Meyers, and country crooner Rick Trevino.
Wear a costume, paint your face, and get your little ones in the parade. Proceeds benefit Easter Seals, an organization serving children with disabilities since 1937.
1:45pm: Samantha Quintanilla
2:55: Tiarra Girls
4: Whiskey Sisters
6:30: Los Texmaniacs featuring Augie Meyers, Flaco Jiménez, and Rick Trevino
7:40: Dale Watson
8:50: Little Joe y La Familia
1: Cast n’ Crew
2: Los Autenticos
3: MoneyShot Band
4: Este Vato
5: El Tule