NewsPinellas County


Dunedin restaurant celebrates Dia De Los Muertos by educating the community

Posted at 10:34 AM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 15:55:23-04

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Not every front yard skeleton you see this time of year is meant for Halloween. In Dunedin, the Mexican holiday of Dia De Los Muertos is underway.

Kirsten Walker didn’t know much about Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, until she moved to Dunedin.

“This is the first year we’ve been a part of it; we’ve always admired it from afar,” said Walker.

They placed a photo of Kirsten’s father on the ofrenda or altar.

“My dad passed away in August he was vaccinated but did die of the delta variant,” said Walker. She said her daughter was very close with her grandfather.

“I felt it would be a great way for her to be able to understand and give memory and love to my dad,” said Walker.

It’s one of the hundreds of photos and mementos that will be on display at 728 Douglas Avenue.

“You can bring a picture, put it on the altar, and say a little prayer, tell a little story about that person, remember their favorite foods, their drinks,” said Tina Marie Avila.

Avila started the Mexican tradition in downtown Dunedin almost 30 years ago, after opening her restaurant, Casa Tina.

“People don’t know that much about the culture so we really want to teach them,” said Avila.

“Keeping their spirit and their memory alive,” said Melody Urso.

Urso had a sense of pride and excitement to share a photo

“One is my dad, one is my husband and one is my little dog Jesse, all of which have left way too soon,” said Urso.

Everyone you see in the yard has something in common, they’re all loved and missed.

“They would know that they are always with me, and it’s a way to honor them, they would be thrilled by it,” said Urso.

Anyone in the community is welcome to add to the display, which will remain intact until November 7.