Henderson city commissioner stands against Día de los Muertos celebration

Local News

HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – A Mexican holiday is coming home to Henderson. Day of the Dead is a long-celebrated Catholic tradition, but at least one city leader doesn’t think those ideas should be welcome here.

For the first time city-wide, hundreds in Henderson are expected to join and honor those they’ve lost on Día de los Muertos. It isn’t viewed by Mexicans as a sad holiday, but a joyous occasion to celebrate.

It’s vibrant, exciting, and happy, said Henderson Judge-Executive, Brad Schneider. He organized the inaugural event on his own time. He couldn’t be more pleased to treat Hispanics with a flavor of their home.

“They make up a good chunk of our workforce, they’re good people, they work hard, but there’s still a bit of a cultural divide there,” Schneider said. “We wanted to do something that would outreach to them and extend a hand in friendship and welcome to them.”

Schneider says there are 1,200 Hispanics living in Henderson County. This celebration, he believes, can bridge a gap.

“Day of the Dead is one of those things that’s really different, it’s really cool, it’s fun, and it is steeped in Mexican and Catholic traditions.”

During Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting, Commissioner Patti Bugg said people have asked her to stand against it.

Facebook post from Patti Bugg regarding Dia de los Muertos

In a post on Facebook earlier this month, Bugg asks people to do their research on the holiday. She’s concerned about kids and wrote the Lord is speaking to her.

“There was one commissioner who has religious views that are in opposition to what she believes is going to be happening,” Schneider explained. “I think she misunderstands what the celebration is for, what happens, what it’s all about.”

Eyewitness News attempted to reach Bugg by phone and email but did not get a response Wednesday.

The local Día de los Muertos celebration will have food, music, dancing, traditional face painting, and an altar for offerings. It’s on Saturday, November 2 at Central Park from 4 to 7 p.m.

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This story was originally published on October 23, 2019

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