EDINBURG — H-E-B Park will be hosting its first socially-distanced event on Oct. 31: Carnaval de Calaveras, a Dia de Los Muertos festival.
“We are ready to get back to live events, to begin gathering together with people and enjoying and celebrating,” Shalimar Madrigal, Bert Ogden Arena’s director of marketing announced at a press conference Thursday. “Especially right now with COVID, we have lost a lot, but there is also a lot to remember and a lot to celebrate and that’s what this celebration is.”
Doors for the family-friendly event will open at 6 p.m., with the event to start at 7 p.m. with a prayer for those who have died in the past year. The event is presented by the Almaraz Law Firm in McAllen.
The core of the Mexican holiday, which translates to “day of the dead” is to celebrate family members who have died and honor their spiritual journey.
A showing of the Disney animated film “Coco” will start at 7:15. A Dia de los Muertos-themed menu will be available at the concession stands.
The arena field will be divided into 10 ft. by 10 ft. pods for a maximum of four people. They can be booked for $100 each.
“There is not going to be a bad seat in this house,” Ron Patel, the president of Golden Grape Entertainment, said.
Stadium seating, which will observe social distancing precautions, will be $20 a person.
“So when you look at the stands here at H-E-B park, you will see fans there, but you won’t see any groups of fans that did not buy their tickets together in a household sitting (within) 6 feet of another household,” Patel said.
Ticket sales begin at 10 a.m. Friday. For pre-sale tickets, text “CARNAVAL” to (833) 737-6620.
A concert with Grupo Solido, an award-winning norteño group from El Paso, is set to perform at 9:40 p.m. at the park, and tickets will be available for sale at hebpark.com at the start time of the event’s ticket sales.
To ensure the safety of attendees, a sanitation team will be walking around the arena the day of the event, distributing hand sanitizer and wipes. Signs to encourage social distancing will also be posted.
Patel emphasized the activities of the event have been centered around social distancing precautions.
“So this is something we have been working on for months with our team so we can safely socially distance folks in the stands, and with the pods on the field, we can safely socially distance folks as well,” he said.
Patel told The Monitor that offering an event for the community to commemorate Dia de Los Muertos has never been more important, considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is the tradition that it celebrates, which is going to be really hard to celebrate both dia and halloween this year, just given the nature of what is going on with the pandemic,” he said. “We are just so excited to have the ability to bring the community together like this in a unique way, and not just making sure it’s safe — we know we can make sure it’s safe — we also want to make sure people feel safe with the precautions we’re taking.”