PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is traditionally a Mexican-themed holiday to celebrate both life and death.
However in Peoria, Nikki Romain, co-founder of ART Inc, decided to put a twist on the holiday by hosting the fourth annual Día de los Muertos: Love Never Dies event.
“The purpose of this event is to celebrate culture. It’s a vibrant beautiful holiday celebrating a culture in a community that we’re in. We’re in a black and brown community and this is a Mexican holiday that we celebrate to shed a light on culture and community. But we also celebrate the life of a Peorian that has passed away,” said Romain.
Hundreds packed the colorful venue for the celebration on Saturday night.
“Each year it gets better and better and everyone comes out. You’ll find everyone of every race, every culture, young, old at this event,” Romain said.
This year’s honoree was Lydia Moss Bradley who was the founder of Bradley University.
Bradley University’s President Stephen Standifird said it’s really special to have the namesake of his university honored.
“We almost can’t do enough to talk about and honor her as an individual. She was a trailblazer in the late 1800s and left such a profound impact on the community,” said Standifird.
Romain said she looks forward to hosting the growing celebration each year.
“We do this every year. If you would love to come out and celebrate with us next year we would love to have you. It’s a wonderful event,” said Romain.