Levine Museum: Fun, food to celebrate the dead

As many Charlotteans dive into Halloween festivities, another celebration is under way this weekend at Levine Museum of the New South: Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

The uptown museum and the Latin American Coalition are joining forces Sunday for the sixth annual "Festival of Souls," a free day of family-friendly activities including folkloric music and dance performances, arts and crafts, and sampling of traditional foods such as sugar skulls and dead bread.

The festival runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the museum, 200 E. Seventh St. Free parking is available next door in the Seventh Street Station parking deck.

Día de los Muertos is, traditionally, a festive time to honor deceased relatives, satirize the living and entice the spirits to visit with flower-decked altars and offerings of food. The Festival of Souls is one of Mexico's most distinctive holidays, and is considered a day of cheerful celebration rather than mourning.

The Charlotte festival regularly attracts more than 1,500 participants.