Halloween partiers — if they don’t feel like death Nov. 1 — will have a chance to extend their holiday hoopla, as Gunbarrel Tavern & Eatery hosts its first Dia de los Muertos celebration.
The festival, to be held Nov. 1 and 2, will consist of a pub crawl in the Heavenly Village area and include drink specials, costume contests and more.
“We’re just trying to get a little vibe going here in the village,” Gunbarrel Owner Alex Cox said.
Gunbarrel, which opened at the Village in August, will present the event in an effort to celebrate the dead and rally the living, he said.
“Especially with us being the new kids on the block,” Cox said, “we thought ‘let’s bring us together.’”
Dia de los Muertos, or day of the dead, is a Latin American tradition that originated in Mexico. Its purpose is to honor the dead with lively celebrations, rather than grieve over their passing, according to the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Cox said it’s a great time for people who are still in the Halloween spirit.
“It’s a party for all the passed souls,” he said.
In the essence of tradition, participants are encouraged to dress up for the event, whether it’s with Halloween costumes or sugar skulls — masks typically painted on someone’s face.
Bar manager Cory Ouellette, who is in charge of organizing the event, said a pub crawl at Heavenly Village for the holiday was a rare opportunity to create something special for the community.
South Shore has few festivals centered around Dia de los Muertos, he said, and Heavenly Village is a prime location to hold one.
“I though maybe I should get on the forefront of that,” Ouellette said.
During the crawl, participants will have a chance to create a team and join a scavenger hunt around Heavenly Village. Teams will have a number of challenges to complete, including chugging certain drinks, building a human pyramid and eating specific foods.
The scavenger hunt will also require players to use Facebook and Instagram frequently so Ouellette can track their progress.
Organizers are still working out the prizes but, so far, Gunbarrel is offering a $100 gift certificate for best costume and a $100 gift certificate for highest number of challenges completed.
Base Camp Pizza, McP’s Pub Tahoe and many other Heavenly Village bars and restaurants will participate in the celebration, according to a press release. And organizers said other businesses in the area may announce other food and drink specials before the pub crawl begins.
If everything goes well, the celebration could become a yearly tradition at Heavenly Village, Cox said.
“We’re trying to build an event,” he said.