DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Day of the Dead Parade and Celebration returns for the tenth year to remember lives lost in the last year.

Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, is a Mexican tradition and a celebration of life. It was originally scheduled for Sunday, October 24 this year; it has been postponed to Sunday, October 31.

“It is the only celebration that I can think of that everybody who’s going to show up, agrees on something. We lost someone we loved, and we miss them, and we want to celebrate their life,” says organizer Gabriela Pickett.

The celebration was first held in Dayton in 2012, but Day of the Dead dates back some 3,000 years. “If you were to go to the cemetery in Mexico on the Day of the Dead you’re going to see orange flowers and red flowers everywhere and candles and music, and it’s an incredible party that takes over the cemeteries,” says Pickett.

The celebration will take over parts of downtown Dayton. The parade will step off at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 31 at the corner of Jefferson and Fifth Street and end at Dutoit Street in St. Anne’s Hill.

“The t-shirt for this year has 2020 and 2021 because it’s going to be for us a double celebration,” says Pickett.

In the first year in Dayton, roughly 300 people turned out. Organizers are expecting a crowd this year with the event holding even deeper meaning for some. “Given the fact that everybody lost someone to COVID, or we at least know someone who we lost to COVID, I think that it’s important as a community to be part of that healing process of trying to deal with this,” says Pickett.

While skulls are central to the decor, and while the Dayton celebration will take place on Halloween, organizers say there is a big difference between Day of the Dead and Halloween. “We want people to understand the difference,” says Pickett. “You can be dressed as your sugar skull, catrina, anything that is Mexican. We’re not supposed to be spooky.”

Activities will take place before the parade starting at noon. The entire celebration this year will be held outdoors at the Missing Peace Art Space following the parade.