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October is quite possibly one of the best months in Bend! The weather is cooler, the trails are less packed, and fresh hops are flowing at the breweries – not to mention pumpkin brews towards the end of the month – that’s a nice Halloween treat.

This year, we have something new in Bend – The Day of the Dead Cyclocross Festival. Now Day of the Dead is in its essence a celebration to remember our loved ones who have passed to the other side. On this day (Día de los Muertos) offerings to the dead are made in many forms. From simple gifts of food, to ornate shrines (sometimes called altars) tributes are paid to their souls. It’s really just another reason to party Mexican style, so there you go!

So now we have yet another festival mash-up in Bend, this time the ingredients are comprised of bikes, beer (you gotta have beer), and the dead. And to be given the opportunity to work on something like that was just to hard to pass up. Why? I’m a big fan of beer – check out my Little Woody logo – a fan of biking and bike safety – and I lived in Mexico as a kid and remember this day specifically more than any other. Cool dark evenings on rain soaked cobblestone streets, dimly lit by candles (veladoras) – with really, really tall skeletons walking around, everywhere. I realize now they were people on stilts, and do recall my parents explaining that to me – but I was like 9 or something – at the time, the fantasy was way better than the reality – I also thought you had to have really big shoulders to play football, but whatever.

Gran Calavera Eléctrica - c 1900 - José Guadalupe Posada
Gran Calavera Eléctrica – c 1900 – José Guadalupe Posada

Skeletons and skulls (calaveras) are very prominent throughout this celebration thanks to one artist in particular, José Guadalupe Posada. His style of illustration truly captured the living, the dead, the spirit of this day and has no doubt inspired others to do the same.

Another type of skull commonly associated with Day of the Dead is the Sugar Skull. A candied sugar or chocolate skull made as an offering to the dead. The idea is to make something sweet and delicious to attract the soul of the loved one who has passed. Then once their soul has risen, the two of you party and drink tequila together for a day. Awesome! I dig the idea, and the look of the Sugar Skull. Mix in some bike elements (chains, sprockets), beer (bottle), and Bend – and you have a logo for a Festival! Hope you dig it. My part was the logo design – the Visit Bend peeps did a good job pulling the rest of the creative together. Make sure you check it out next weekend, there’s a bunch of stuff happening around the festival. Here’s the official Day of the Dead Cyclocross Fesitval website for all the dets!