Sandoval Signpost
An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
  Around Town

Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade

19th annual South Valley Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade and celebration

—Signpost Staff

On November 6, Cambio and La Raza Unida will present the nineteenth annual Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade and Celebration. The theme this year is “Revelemos los Mitos” (“Unmasking the Dream”).

Dia de Los Muertos (literally Day of the Dead) is an ancient tradition rooted in Mexico. It celebrates life and honors those who have passed on. This particular celebration draws its influences from Jose Guadalupe Posada’s early 1900s portrayal of personalities as skeletons or Calaveras.

Posada depicted rich and poor alike as skeletons in ordinary and sometimes outrageous but tragic life settings. Printed sheets would circulate during Dia De Los Muertos festivities where he would seize the opportunity for political satire and comedy. The Posada Calavera always seemed to be laughing, frolicking, and up to some kind of mischief.

The parade gets bigger and is better attended every year. It features floats, dancers in costume and on stilts, and decorated classic cars. This is a good opportunity to venture into the South Valley for a fun multi-cultural experience—especially on a beautiful fall day.

The public is invited to create floats that inspire parade goers to laugh and perhaps cry but never abhor. This is not Halloween, so floats cannot be gory, ghoulish, foul, or traumatizing. All floats must have marigolds on them. All float members must be masked or painted as Calaveras (no halloween masks). Tasteful political satire is welcome. Drinking and illegal drugs are prohibited.

Applications for float entry must be received by October 31. For more information and applications visit or or call 244-0120.

The public is also invited to a series of art workshops on Saturdays in October from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at El Jardin Enterprises Studios, 803 La Vega SW (corner of Armijo). The free workshops will include papermache creations, parade floats and props, masks, sugar skulls, face painting, altars, learning to make paper marigolds, and the history, traditions, and symbols behind all of it. All ages are wecome. For more information, call 363-1326 or 244-0120.

Interpretive panel tells about the garden’s purpose and identifies plantings. 

Placitas Community Library water feature

Interpretive panel installed in library garden

—William W. Dunmire

Who would have guessed that the Placitas Community Library landscape garden would have delivered so much color during the summer of New Mexico's worst drought ever? Yet, with a boost from our automated drip system, the native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees have flourished. As well, the garden is fulfilling its role as an Official Certified Wildlife Habitat, a designation accorded by the National Wildlife Federation last spring.

Not only have the original one hundred or so plants that were installed eighteen months ago survived, but an assortment of wildflowers has popped up in the grass area east of the building, thanks to a native seed mix that we broadcast last winter.

Wildflowers started blooming last April, and at least a few plants will be showing off through October. The latest additions to the landscaping are helping us to achieve our goal of creating an educational demonstration garden.

A large colorful interpretive panel at the library entrance now tells about the garden's purpose and identifies the most attractive plants in the front plot. And smaller panels have‘ just been installed to inform visitors about six different individual trees and shrubs in the garden that are good candidates for planting in home gardens. The new panels also provide little-known facts about each species. More interpretive panels will be added in the future.

Thanks to our committee of dedicated volunteers and other helpers, Placitans can count on their library garden being well-maintained and even expanded.

Dixon Apple Orchard

Help the Dixon Apple Orchard

A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank to help the Mullane family of Dixon Apple Orchards (see article in September issue). The Mullane family has provided delicious apples for our state for over six decades and now, due to the devastating fires and floods of this season, they are in desperate need of our help. Anyone can contribute by simply mentioning Dixon Apple Orchard.

Rio Rancho bicycle and pedestrian plan wins award

—Peter Wells

The city of Rio Rancho’s Bicycle and Transportation Master Plan has been recognized by the New Mexico American Planning Association with an Innovation in Planning/Transportation Award.  The Rio Rancho governing body adopted the plan this past February.

The plan provides guidance and direction through goals, policies, and strategies for the design, development, operation, and maintenance of a connected bicycle/pedestrian trails network throughout Rio Rancho. The objective of the network is to offer citizens the option to travel through the city—to commute to work or just for recreation—without the use of motorized vehicles.

“As the city secures funding for the plan and implements over time, one of the many benefits will be the positive impact on the environment as vehicle emissions will be reduced by those opting for the trail network instead of motorized transportation,” said Jay Hat, director for the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.

Development of a comprehensive citywide plan was a recommendation of a citizen Intermodal Bike/Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Task Force created by the Governing Body in 2009.

Plan development costs were $106,043.87 and were paid for by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded 2009 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Innovation in Planning/Transportation Award was presented to the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services and Development Services departments, as well as city consultant PMC, for their contributions to the development of the plan at the Western Planner/American Planning Association Four Corners Conference in Santa Fe earlier this month.

To view the plan, visit the city’s Web site,

c. Rudi Klimpert

Fall harvest festival planned at Placitas winery

—Chris Frye, Las Placitas Association

On Saturday, October 22, Las Placitas Association and Resilient Placitas will host an afternoon benefit harvest festival to entertain the whole family. They plan to hold a baked goods competition and best garden produce competition and encourage the public to bring these things in. There will also be a children’s pumpkin carving event; a preserved food display (jellies, preserves, canning, drying); demonstrations on bee keeping, cheese making, bread making, furniture making, garden winterizing, seed saving, bird house construction, and root cellars; and booths with weaving, sewing, needlework; leather and wood carving crafts. Wine tasting and purchasing will be available for the adults. The event will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Anasazi Fields Winery, 26 Camino de los Pueblitos, in the Village of Placitas. For more information, contact the winery at 867-3062.

Fiesta of Cultures presents Don Bullis

—Friends of Coronado State Monument

The Friends of Coronado State Monument are pleased to host New Mexico’s Centennial Project Author, Don Bullis, during their annual Fiesta of Cultures, Saturday, October 22. Bullis, well-known for his knowledge of New Mexico history, will present a short talk about New Mexico’s struggle for statehood at 2:00 p.m. in the Mural Room at the Monument. Bullis’ background in American history, law enforcement, journalism, and politics give him exceptional insight into all things New Mexican. There will be a short Q & A period after. Attendees of the Fiesta will be able to purchase Bullis’ books, including, “New Mexico: A Biographical Dictionary Vol. I and Vol. II,” as well as a selection of his other award-winning non-fiction and fiction offerings. For more information, call Barb Williams at 792-4851.

Abrazos Family Support Services hosts benefit golf tournament

— Jeff Hoehn

On October 21 at Santa Ana Golf Club, Abrazos Family Support Services is hosting a Golf Tournament to benefit individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Proceeds from the event will support Abrazos’ respite care services program. Respite care is an important family support service that provides care for persons with disabilities so the family can take a break from the intensity of providing full time care for a disabled child. Additionally, respite care provides disabled individuals with the opportunity to build new relationships and move towards independence.

Since 1980, Abrazos has provided services that improve the quality of life for families and individuals with developmental disabilities. Abrazos provides an array of specialized educational, therapeutic, developmental and parent support services that help families to meet the special needs of their infants, children, and adult family members with disabilities.

Abrazos invites all golfers to register for the tournament at Participants will enjoy lunch, prizes, contests, and much more. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the event, followed by lunch at 11:00 a.m. with a tee time of noon. The generous support of individuals in our community helps make services possible for individuals with disabilities. Register today and enjoy a great day of golf for a great cause. For more information call Jeff Hoehn at 867-3396 or email at




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