Centro hosts Day of the Dead street festival Saturday

Downtown Raleigh’s Centro restaurant is sponsoring a Day of the Dead street festival and 5K race this Saturday.

Day of the Dead is a three-day holiday and celebration in Mexico and Central America around Halloween where people honor those who have passed away. The holiday, often known for its iconic skeletons, involves an altar laid out with the deceased person’s favorite foods and drinks as well as flowers.

“It’s meant to be funny. It’s meant to be lively. It’s not morbid at all,” said Centro’s owner Angela Salamanca. “It’s such a healthy way to celebrate those people in your life that have died.”

Salamanca said she started the Raleigh event six years ago in memory of her sister, Margarita, who passed away in 2003. Originally, the event was a bike ride, mainly for family and friends. Four years ago, it became a 5K road race that winds through Oakwood cemetery and a street festival with face painting, food trucks and more. A life-size Day of the Dead altar will be set up in the cemetery as well as a smaller alter on Wilmington Street.

Registration is still open for Saturday’s race, which starts at noon. It costs $25 if you register online by Thursday. Or you can pay $30 on the day of the race. Info:

Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Brentwood area. In the last four years, more than 1,500 runners have participated in the race and more than $25,000 has been raised for the Boys & Girls Club.