MOLINE, Ill. — There's a new cultural tradition coming to the Quad Cities. Mercado on Fifth will host its inaugural Día de los Muertos Parade on Saturday, Oct. 22 in downtown Moline.
The parade will start at 2:30 p.m. and include more than 70 entries, including The Beast from WQAD. The parade will step off from the corner of 4th Avenue and 11th Street in Moline.
"We are so ecstatic that we can hardly contain our enthusiasm!" Mercado on Fifth wrote in a Facebook post announcing the parade back in March.
The parade, sponsored by R3 Roofing and Exteriors, will be the first of its kind in the Quad Cities to celebrate the Mexican holiday.
Here's a look at the parade's route:
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not the Mexican equivalent of Halloween. It is a lively holiday that commemorates those that have died. Mexican folklore holds the dead awaken Nov. 1-2 each year to reconnect and celebrate with their living family and friends.
The holiday is a time for food, drinks, parties and music, according to National Geographic. Skeletons and skulls are its most commonly known symbols, and they are seen everywhere from candied sweets, parade masks and dolls.
"The QC is our home," said Brad Matthews, CEO and co-owner of R3. "We started our first business in the area about 10 years ago. Since then, we've grown alongside our community and are thankful to be able to support the growth of something new and exciting for everyone in the QC!"
Mercado on Fifth will open registration to participate in the parade in late April. Families, groups and clubs interested in running a float are required to be in-theme with the holiday, and no plain clothes will be allowed.
Learn more about registration for parade here.