McAllen unveils largest Catrina in the country ahead of festival

Standing 37-feet tall and dressed the part, the tallest Catrina in the United States was unveiled on Tuesday overlooking Oval Park at the McAllen Convention Center on Oct.29, 2019 . Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor dlopez@themonitor.com

McALLEN — Standing 37-feet tall and dressed the part, the tallest Catrina in the United States was unveiled Tuesday overlooking Oval Park here at the McAllen Convention Center.

La Catrina, the female skeleton that has become symbolic with the Day of the Dead, will be on display next to the Oval Park pond from Tuesday. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor dlopez@themonitor.com

La Catrina, the female skeleton that has become symbolic with the Day of the Dead, will be on display next to the Oval Park pond from Tuesday through Friday, when the large skeleton will transported across the Convention Center campus to the Tecate Catrina Music Fest festival grounds.

The inaugural Day of the Dead celebration music festival will be held at the Convention Center on Saturday, but there will be musicians performing at a free stage all week.

Headliners at the Saturday event include Caifanes, Zoe, El Tri, Fobia, Cultura Profetica, Ximena Sarinana, Inspector, Too Many Zoos, Jenny and the Mexicats, Genitallica, La Castaneda and Victimas del Dr. Cerebro.

Also among the offerings this week will be $5 boat rides at Oval Park in the shadow of La Catrina in a nod to the canals in Xotchimilco, Mexico.

This is the second inaugural festival held at the Convention Center in recent months that has sought to embrace Mexican cultures on a larger scale. Over the summer, the inaugural MXLAN arts and music festival at the Convention Center eclipsed 80,000 guests over five days.

In just a few weeks, however, the Convention Center will be turned into a wintry mix of an ice skating rink, “Rodolfo the bucking reindeer” and a two-story toboggan ride on “real” snow. The convention center will be illuminated with holiday and character displays for “Santa’s dazzling new winter home,” city officials said.

The city of McAllen also announced Tuesday that the McAllen International Airport in conjunction with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and McAllen Mexican Cultural Center will host Day of the Dead altars at the airport.

There will be an opening ceremony and special presentation for these altars at 11 a.m. Friday, and again at 5:30 p.m. with the involvement of the cultural center.