Tohono Chul Park’s second annual homage to chile and chocolate is bringing another borderlands tradition into the mix, Día de los Muertos.
On Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31 for 9am to 5pm, join dozens of local vendors, acclaimed speakers and musicians for a family-friendly food celebration.
“We started our Chiles & Chocolate festival last year, wanting to bring back the “flavor” of the Fiesta de los Chiles that Tucson Botanical Gardens had hosted for many years but then let lapse,” said Jo Falls, the Director of Education at Tohono Chul. “Since the chiltepin is native to the Sonoran Desert and considered the “mother of chiles,” it seemed only right to honor this iconic food. And, of course, chocolate is Latin America’s gift to the world!”
Throughout the grounds, attendees will find chile- and Day of the Dead-inspired crafts and chile- and chocolate culinary creations from vendors like Exo Coffee, South of the Mouth and Tucson Tamale.
There will be food trucks, chile roasters, ornamental and edible chile plants for sale, free Day of the Dead-themed face painting and, on Friday, children’s crafts provided by the Tucson Children’s Museum.
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Live musical entertainment will be provided by Mariachi Aztlán, Jovert Steel Drum Band and Rafael Moreno Quartet. Elena Díaz Bjorkquist will speak about Day of the Dead – Friday at 2pm and Saturday at 10am
Students at Sunshine School and Canyon del Oro High School as well as local artists Carolee Asia, Royce Davenport, Marcy Miranda Janes, Mary Ellen Palmieri, Martin Quintanilla, James Schaub, Ted Springer and Gabriel Ruiz Villegas will be creating unique ofrendas (altars) for the festivities.
“As to the Day of the Dead theme this year, Tohono Chul has been sharing the traditions of El Dia de los Muertos with Tucsonans for more than a decade, recognizing it as an important Latin American and borderlands tradition that is often misunderstood, we have striven to make it more accessible,” commented Falls. “To that end, we invited students from Sunshine School and Canyon del Oro High School, as well as several local artists to craft an ofrenda just for the festival. These standalone altars presented an immediate and personal statement about just what Day of the Dead is all about, especially with the artist there to speak directly to visitors and share what was in their hearts.”
2015 Chiles, Chocolate & Day of the Dead Festival Vendors
- Alfonso Olive Oil
- Arizona Warmth Creations
- Arria’s Bath and Body
- Azucar Jewelry
- Brian & Kelly’s Pumpkins/Ristras
- Charles De Concini Chiltepines
- DC Jumbie Latin and Caribbean
- EXO Coffee
- Flor de Mayo
- Hillary Bowers
- Home Comforts and More
- Jupiter’s Dream Chocolates
- Mano y Metate
- Pappardelle’s Pasta
- Popped Artisan Popcorn
- Red’s Roasters
- The Roasted Chile
- Road Running Pizza
- SA Alchemists Guild
- Something Out Of Nothing
- Sonoran Mexican Cuisine
- South of the Mouth
- Table of Elementz – Saturday only
- Timothy’s Collection
- Tohono Chul Garden Bistro
- Tone Nutrition
- Trucking Good Cupcakes – Saturday only
- Tucson Tamale – Saturday only
For more information, visit tohonochulpark.org.