McClung Museum to Host Día de los Muertos Festival

McClung Museum will host a free community festival celebrating Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) on November 5.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– From noon–4 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will host a free community festival to celebrate the vibrant tradition of (the Day of the Dead). In honor of the temporary exhibition, The Spirit of Día de los Muertos, the festival will feature cultural dances, music, sample foods, guided craft projects and artisan demonstrations.

Traditionally observed on November 1 and 2, Día de los Muertos is a joyous celebration that honors loved ones who have passed. Widely celebrated throughout Latin America and beyond, the Day of the Dead offers a time of reflection and connection between the past and present.

Individuals and families with children of all ages are invited to the McClung Museum to participate in hands-on activities such as candle making, decorating calaveras (skulls), creating marigold crowns, face painting stations, and more.

With this festival, the museum and its community partners aim to highlight the richness of the many communal experiences associated with the Day of the Dead,” said Curator of Education Leslie Chang-Jantz. “This event will celebrate the joy of families and neighbors coming together to honor loved ones through shared traditions.”

The event will feature sample foods from local restaurants Zalate Taqueria and La Flor Bakery, and performances by local dance groups Herencia de mi Tierra (My Homeland’s Heritage) and Grupo de arte y cultura San Miguel de la Iglesia de Todos los Santos (San Miguel Art and Culture group of All Saints Church). Students from Beaumont Magnet Academy will perform songs directed by music teacher Mr. José Ramos.

During the festival, Ericka Mejia, who placed second in the 2022 Dogwood Arts Festival Chalk Walk, will create chalk art outside of the museum inspired by The Spirit of Día de los Muertos exhibition. Guests will also have an opportunity to learn about the art and installations on display in the exhibition from local artists Martha Baltazar, Laura Contreras, Susan Esrequis, and Héctor Saldivar.

The festival is free to attend, but registrations are required. To register, please visit

About the McClung Museum

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Visitors should register at and review the visitor guidelines, parking information, and check-in process.