This weekend in Cleveland: Dia de Muertos, WCSB Masquerade Ball and more

Happy Halloween! This weekend, celebrate Día de Muertos and WCSB’s Masquerade Ball at Cleveland Public Theatre, take a ghost tour of Playhouse Square, party for a cause at Guide to Kulchur, smash pumpkins at Spice Bar+Grill and more.
Día de Muertos Festival
Saturday, October 31st.
Day of the dead activities 11 am - 10 pm. Parade, 3:30 pm.
Cleveland Public Theatre 6415 Detroit Ave.
Day of the Dead is a vibrant celebration of life. This Saturday marks the 11th Annual Día de Muertos Festival in Cleveland’s Gordon Square neighborhood, which is home to many latino residents.
The event hosted by Latinos Unidos and Cleveland Public Theatre features a parade, traditional alters, a cemetery installation, food, dance and music to honor ancestors and commemorate loved ones who have passed.
This festival also falls in the midst of the third full length original production by CPT’s resident Latin American theatre ensemble, Teatro Publico de Cleveland, along with the nationwide celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We are very proud of our tradition. We teach our children and grandkids about Día de Muertos  and they learn that this has nothing to do with monsters or zombies or scary creatures,” explains  festival co-founder, Hector Castellanos. “It’s a celebration of life and it helps us to understand that if we have life we have death, like many things in nature -- it’s a cycle.”
Día de Muertos traditions are widely regionalized throughout Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. Castellanos is Guatemalan artist that moved to the United States in the early ‘90s and planted roots in Cleveland after living in New York for 12 years. He is also the artistic director of Artistas Latinos Unidos, a collective group of northeast Ohio artists who have shared their skills in the community and hosted many joint exhibitions.
“I remember my grandmother used to take me to visit my grandfather’s grave and when my grandmother passed away my mother would take me to pray and celebrate,” reminisces Castellanos.
He became interested in how other latino cultures celebrated the holiday and co-founded the festival as a way to create a collaborative Cleveland tradition.“It’s important because there are so many different countries involved and it brings together something spectacular about our collective culture,” says Cantellanos.
Similarly to many Latin American countries, Guatemalan traditions have origins in ancient Mayan rituals. When the Spaniards colonized the Americas, the holiday became commingled with the Catholic All Saints and All Souls Days. This explains why traditional religious folk includes Catholic imagery such as crosses.
The festival is a deeply spiritual yet exuberant celebration. This year’s festival includes an amazing array of altars that will be decorated with elements of the earth (salt), wind (cut paper decorations), fire (candles), water, colorful sculptures of candy skulls (calaveras) and skeletons (catrinas).

The event starts at 11 am with face painting for participants in the parade which will be led by a mariachi band starts at 3:30 pm. The procession will end (ironically) at Craciun Berry Funeral Home.
After the parade, the community is invited back to CPT’s Parish Hall venue for performances featuring the Tepehuani Nelli Dancers, family activities, a mock cemetery and window displays. Enjoy music by Arroz y Frijoles (Latin salsa/cumbia), Dueto Maravilla (Mexican romantic/popular songs) and Unfinished Business (Latin rock).
7th Annual WCSB Halloween Masquerade Ball
Saturday, October 31st. Doors open at 8:30 show starts at 9 pm.
Cleveland Public Theatre 6415 Detroit Ave.
WCSB 89.3 Cleveland broadcasts an eclectically out of this world selection of radio programing -- and they know how to throw a party that is equally extraterrestrial. The theme for WCSB’s 7th annual Halloween Masquerade Ball is outer space!
Fill your ears with performances by Simply Saucer (‘70s Canadian proto punk), Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments (lo-fi Columbus punk), Destructor (Cleveland power thrash metal), and Shale Satans (Cleveland Rock & roll). Your favorite WCSB DJs will be keeping the party going between sets. Compete in the costume contest, snap a photo in the photo booth and enjoy a glass of WCSB-brewed Frequency Modulating Schwarzbier or WCSB Oktoberfest!
Playhouse SCARE!
Thursday, October 29th. 5 - 11 pm
Playhouse Square 1501 Euclid Ave.
Celebrate the spirit of Halloween with a tour through the historic Playhouse Square. Attend séances in the Connor Palace with psychic medium Marianne Goldweber from 7 p.m until 11 pm.
Haunted happy hour starts at 5 pm with specials at participating theatre district restaurants and bars. Guests can register to win restaurant gift certificates and if you’re exceptionally lucky you might win the Grand Prize, a luxury Playhouse Square gift package!

Coventreat: Trick or Treat at Coventry Village
Thursday, October 29th, 5:30 pm 7:30 pm
Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights
Candy and snacks from your favorite Coventry locations. Halloween crafts for kids at Mac’s Backs Books. Look for the “Coventreat Stop” signs in participating merchant windows.
Halloween @ Bounce
Friday, October 30th - Saturday October 31st. 9 pm - 2 am
Bounce Nightclub 2814 Detroit Ave.
(No cover before 10 pm)
Party with pride this weekend! Friday night enjoy History Horrors, a drag show hosted by Danyel Vasquez with Devinity Arriago, Kari Nickels and Akashia at 9 pm. Music by Eclectic Circus directly afterwards with DJ Saint. Saturday, enjoy HYSTERIA hosted by Kari Nickels with Samantha Echo and special guest Lola LeCroix at 11 pm. Don’t forget to compete in Bounce’s Costume Contest!
IN TRAINING x HEAVEN IS IN YOU: Halloween Benefit for Books 2 Prisoners
Saturday, October 31st. 8 - 12 pm
Guide to Kulchur 5900 Detroit Ave.
$5 - $10 Donation
Get loose at Guide to Kulchur for a good cause! Two of Cleveland's hot monthly parties, In Training and Heaven Is In You, are proud to come together in collaboration with Guide To Kulchur to host a Halloween celebration in support of Books 2 Prisoners.
All of the night’s proceeds will go toward providing reading material to incarcerated individuals and donations will be used to purchase literature for those in need. Enjoy exclusive performance by hip-hop artist Ghost Noises and DJ sets by ADAB, Silkman, Kiernan Laveaux, and Father of Two. Don’t forget your costume.
Smashing Pumpkins Party
Saturday, October 31st. 10 pm - 1:30 am
Spice Kitchen+Bar 5800 Detroit Ave.
Does smashing pumpkins from the rooftop sound like your idea of a good time? Bring your own jack-o-lantern to drop from the rooftop at Spice. All the mushed gourds will go back to Spice Acres to create compost!
Dance to live music featuring Secret Soul Club’s DJ POPS and Shale Satans on the the turntables, a murderous menu, creepy cocktails and wicked prizes for best costume, pumpkin toss and carved pumpkins.

Read more articles by Jacqueline Bon.

Jacqueline Bon is a freelance writer that has been contributing to Fresh Water Cleveland since 2014. As a journalist by trade and self-taught photographer, she has a lot of curiosity in people and their stories. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has pursued film and digital photography for a decade. She is likely to be the first person on the dance floor, especially if you put on Prince.
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