Members of the group Ameyal Mexican Cultural Organization performed traditional dances and songs during the 2022 event at Florida Keys Brewing Co. DOUG FINGER/Keys Weekly

A Dia de los Muertos celebration will take place in Islamorada on Nov. 3 with a sugar skull-making workshop for kids, live music, a traditional procession and an Afro-Mexican fandango with special guest choreographers.

The free event is presented by Community Arts and Culture in the beer garden at Florida Keys Brewing Company, 81611 Old Highway. 

Dia de los Muertos – or Day of the Dead – celebrations, unlike Halloween events that embrace mischief and spooky elements, are happy occasions that unite the living and the dead. Events are often an explosion of color and life-affirming joy, where the living invite their dearly departed to join them in a celebration of their life and heritage.

Families traditionally attend Dia de los Muertos events in calavera style — wearing face paint and attire that reflects a skeleton or the dead.

The Islamorada activities begin at 5 p.m. with a calavera sugar skull-making workshop that is free for kids and those under age 21, and $5 for adults. Registration is available on Eventbrite.

The Baila Foklorico will perform folkloric dance inspired by Creole-Caribbean, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Mexican indigenous cultures from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a procession and a fandango by the Ameyal Folkloric Ensemble.

Choreographers Catherine Hollingsworth and Emilio Hernandez, both accomplished in Cuban and Afro-Mexican folkloric-style dance, will lead the celebration.

Attendees are invited to wear bright colors, with or without calavera-style face paint and costumes. Community Arts and Culture, the event organizer, is a nonprofit organization that presents the arts as a tool for education and nurtures local and international musical artists who exemplify the diversity of the South Florida community.