McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Standing 36 feet tall, the largest “La Catrina” statue in the United States — and second-largest in the world — was unveiled Tuesday in the border city of McAllen, Texas.
The massive skeletal figure will help kick off Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead celebrations, which will include a new music festival on Nov. 2.
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico and Latin American countries Nov. 1-2 and is a time when families remember and honor the souls of their departed.
The tallest Calavara Catrina in the world measures almost 62 feet in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
“One of the most recognized characters associated with Dia de los Muertos is La Catrina,” McAllen Mayor Pro-Tem Veronica Whitacre told a crowd at the McAllen Convention Center on Tuesday as the statue was officially presented. “The City is proud to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos in this special way by presenting the largest Catrina in the United States that will be on exhibit until Nov. 2.”
The Catrina was created to help promote the Nov. 2 Tecate Catrina Music Fest, a 12-hour music event at the Convention Center that will feature 12 bands. This inaugural music festival will be the largest Day of the Dead celebration in Texas, city officials said.
Lucia Arcija, a nurse from San Juan, Texas, who is originally from Michoacán, Mexico, said she was “so excited I could cry!”
“It’s one of the staples of our country, our culture,” said Arcija who has lived in South Texas for eight years. She said there has never been such a celebration to mark Dia de los Muertos. “My family loves to do this every year. We go to the cemetery with our loved ones. It’s very very exciting to be able to celebrate it here and to have a little bit of Mexico with us.”