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Day of the Dead at Kansas City Museum

Children decorated sugar skulls and visited an altar honoring great Kansas Citians who have died. Giant marionette skeletons danced among marigolds and flames.

It was all part of a kid-friendly celebration of the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos — Day of the Dead — Sunday afternoon at the Kansas City Museum.

The holiday picnic, hosted by the museum along with the Mattie Rhodes Center, featured performances by Stone Lion Puppet Theatre and the Latin music band Mundo Nuovo, face painting by Sister Act and lawn games with KC Crew. Organized in advance of the Nov. 1-2 holiday, Sunday’s event focused on giving kids a chance to connect with Mexican heritage and enjoy the diverse culture of Kansas City’s Northeast neighborhood, said Paul Gutierrez, director of a recreation at the museum.



“It’s really geared toward kids,” Gutierrez said of Sunday’s event, which was held early to give space to other celebrations, such as the Nov. 6 Día de los Muertos festival at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

“I would say to the kids, it’s about connecting with your ancestors who passed away,” Gutierrez said.

Traditionally a lively, colorful festival, Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the dead and comes with its own style of art steeped in themes of life and death. The holiday emerged from a blend of indigenous Mexican traditions and Catholic holidays brought by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.

Prominent among the symbols of the holiday are monarch butterflies — for their seasonal migrations that call to mind the circle of life — and marigolds, whose smell is said to bring the spirits of the dead back for the celebration.

For young children interested in the holiday, Gutierrez recommends the 2014 Disney film “The Book of Life,” which tells the story of three Mexican youths navigating life challenges both natural and supernatural.

Sunday’s event was the third annual celebration held jointly by the museum and the Mattie Rhodes Center, which has been organizing Día de los Muertos events for 18 years.

Among the people lined up for the festival Sunday was Reneé Estrada, a Northeast neighborhood native who brought her 10-year-old daughter. The holiday is important to her family, Estrada said.

“I’m trying to keep my daughter in touch with our heritage,” Estrada said. “As you get older, you lose more people who are important to you. And it’s important to honor them and the memories they gave to you.”

Did You Know?

The Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos originated centuries ago in Mexico, where it is still widely celebrated to this day. The holiday is a blend of pre-Hispanic indigenous beliefs and Spanish Catholic beliefs.

It is a time of celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have passed away, much like Memorial Day in the United States. It is a festive, joyous time of celebration. Day of the Dead is Mexico’s most important holiday, which means they invest a lot of time and money into celebrating Dia de Los Muertos, moreso than any other holiday.

The Day of the Dead falls on November 1 and 2 of each year, coinciding with the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. 

Although November 2nd is the official date for Day of the Dead, it is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. Usually the preparations and some festivities start even earlier than that. So really, the “Day” of the Dead can also be called the “Days” of the Dead, because the holiday spans more than one day.

Traditionally, November 1 is the day for honoring dead children and infants, and November 2 is the day for honoring deceased adults.

Sources: Puppets, sugar skulls, music make a kid-friendly Day of the Dead at Kansas City Museum Day of the Dead Facts

Patriotic Displays-

Home-made Patriotic Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows

For those who are chocolate lovers, you couldn’t go wrong with these easy tips to make patriotic chocolate-covered marshmallows. For the holiday theme it’s decorated  in red, white, and blue, and arranged them in a flag-y kind of way.

Here’s The Tips:


♦ Cooking spray
♦ 3 packages unflavored gelatin (vegetarian substitutions)
♦ 2 cups granulated sugar
♦ 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
♦ A candy thermometer
♦ 1 cup powdered sugar
♦ 2 cups chocolate chips
Red, white, and blue toppers of your choice—strawberries (sliced), raspberries (halved), blueberries (halved), shaved white chocolate (I just used a bar of chocolate and a potato peeler), dried pineapple, coconut flakes, gummy candies (sliced), crushed rock candy, etc.


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 of a cup of cold water with the packets of gelatin and allow to sit until gelatin forms, about 15 minutes.

2. In a small saucepan on medium heat, combine the sugar and a 1/2 of a cup of cold water and stir until sugar has dissolved—about 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Keep the mixture at a boil until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

3. Slowly pour sugar mixture into the bowl with the gelatin, simultaneously using a mixer on low. Gradually increase speed to high and continue whipping until the mix is very thick, about 10 to 15 minutes—imagine the consistency of pourable taffy. NOTE: A stand-up mixer is ideal for this type of recipe, but rest assured, you can do this with an electric hand mixer. I did it—it just requires a little coordination and comfortable shoes.

4. Add vanilla to marshmallow mixture, then whip for another 30 seconds or so until it’s completely mixed in.

5. Line the inside of a 9×13-inch cake pan with tin foil, then coat with cooking spray.

6. Pour the mixture into the cake pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. (Spray spatula with cooking spray as needed to keep it from sticking.) Let the marshmallow sit for about 6 hours, uncovered, until completely set.

7. Cover a surface larger than the marshmallow slab with powdered sugar and flip the cake pan over so that marshmallow lands on the dusted surface. You have to do it quickly, and it’s going to kick up some “dust,” so just prepare yourself. (It’s all part of the fun, right?)

8. Cut marshmallow in whatever shapes you’d like. (It helps to continually coat the knife or cookie cutters with powdered sugar to keep them from sticking.)

9. Dust all sides of marshmallow pieces with powdered sugar.

10. Prepare toppers if needed (e.g. slice blueberries in half, dice dried pineapple, etc.).

11. Prepare a cake pan or plate covered with parchment paper to set chocolate-dipped marshmallows on.

12. Over high heat, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and place a bowl in the saucepan. Be sure the water doesn’t get displaced enough to spill over into the bowl.

13. Pour in chocolate chips.

14. Stir until completely melted.

15. Dip marshmallow into chocolate to cover about a 1/2 inch of marshmallow, then place chocolate side up on plate or cookie sheet.

16. Place toppers on each marshmallow.

17. Once all marshmallows are finished, refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes until chocolate has hardened. Store covered in a cool spot until serving. (If you are topping these with fruit and you’re not serving them right away, store in the refrigerator—I actually prefer them refrigerated because it keeps the chocolate hard.)

Right now, you can prepare this at any styles or arrangement you want that your kids must love. Be creative.

This chocolate covered marshmallows are a fun treat to serve for any patriotic holiday. It’s easy and fun to prepare! So enjoy and have a happy holiday.

Did you know?

Marshmallow is probably the first came into being as a medicinal substance since the mucilaginous extracts come from the root of the marshmallow plant? Althaea Officinalis, which was used as a remedy for sore throats. Concoctions of other parts of the marshmallow plant had medical purposes as well. The root has been used since Egyptian antiquity in a honey-sweetened confection useful in the treatment of a sore throat. The later French version of the recipe, called pâte de GUI mauve (or “guimauve” for short), included an egg white meringue and was often flavored with rose water.

You Might be Wondering:

What Is Marshmallow?

A marshmallow is a sugar-based confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar, a water and gelatin whipped to a spongy consistency, molded into small cylindrical pieces, and coated with corn starch. Some marshmallow recipes call for eggs. This confection is the modern version of a medicinal confection made from Althaea Officinalis, the marshmallow plant.

Sources: Patriotic Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows Marshmallow



Patriotic gesture helps two Pittsburgh Penguins fans land Stanley Cup Finals tickets

Two lucky Pittsburgh area fans landed a free pair of the hottest tickets in the city thanks to a minor gesture of patriotism on Monday.

Penguins fans Nick Comito and Mitch Bell spent the morning of Memorial Day as part of a band playing “Taps” at a memorial service in a nearby town. The two college students then headed to the outdoor watch party outside of Consol Energy Center for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.


Comito and Bell brought an American flag to the watch party with them and secured it to a hockey stick. Getty Images photographer Bruce Bennett spotted the pair and their flag and took what was an iconic photo for Memorial Day and an important hockey game.

Naturally, the NHL posted the photo to their Instagram account. According to the Sporting News, Comito and Bell’s friends started bombarding the Instagram account with comments, NHL representatives were able to locate the pair and came outside to offer them two seats in Section 224 for the game. The friends made what was likely an easy decision to ditch Bell’s sister and girlfriend outside and take the NHL up on their offer.


As the popular saying goes, a picture can be worth a thousand words. But in this case, a picture was worth two seats to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s a pretty good deal.


What’s the Bottomline?


What is Patriotism?

Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment, also known as national feeling or national pride, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one’s own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. It encompasses a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism.An excess of patriotism in the defense of a nation is called chauvinism; another related term is jingoism.
The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota, meaning “countryman”, ultimately from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs), meaning “from the same country”, from πατρίς (patris), meaning “fatherland”.The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.




SOURCES: Patriotic gesture helps two Pittsburgh Penguins fans land Stanley Cup Finals tickets