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Nov. 5 2008 12:00 AM

While students were extending Halloween Saturday night in downtown East Lansing, another type of celebration was going on up the road. All Saints Episcopal Church on Abbot Road held its second annual celebration of the Day of the Dead, or Da de los Muertos.

The Mexican tradition is a time to honor the dead with celebration and prayer. Guests on Saturday were encouraged to add photos and memorabilia to an altar, which was decorated with sugar skulls, paper flowers and other items. Marigolds lined railings and paper banners hung from almost every wall (Above left). One attendee dressed as a skeleton.

The aroma of enchiladas, tamales and tacos could be smelled from the parking lot and there was an array of Mexican puddings, hot chocolate and virgin margaritas being served.

Grammy nominated composer Salvador Torres, a long-time Lansing resident, played traditional mariachi music with Mariachi Zapopan, a Detroit-based group (Above right). The Hispanic Dancers of East Lansing High School got the crowd involved with a conga dance.

Attendees came from all over Ingham County for the celebration. Crystal and Phyllis White, of Haslett, added pictures of a deceased uncle, cat and dog to the altar.

“It’s fun that everybody is here celebrating [the dead],” she said. “The food is excellent, too.”

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