La Virgen de Guadalupe celebrations at the Immaculate Conception Church in Durham start tonight, FRIDAY 12/11 with a short procession at 6:30 pm.
Matachine dancers will be dancing in La Maldita Vecindad (informal name for an apartment complex on Hwy 98/Alston Ave) from 9 pm on; last year there was a shrine, snacks and drinks, and this went on all night until morning mass at the church.
A welcome change from when I first started going to these things is that the church will be open much earlier, from 11 pm tonight on, for Las Mananitas--singing "happy birthday" to the Virgin at her shrine inside the sanctuary, starting at midnight, with mariachis, roses, roses, and more roses, until 12/12 early morning mass at 5 am.
Saturday, 12/12 celebrations continue at 12 Noon with a longer procession through the Burch Avenue neighborhood. This is something worthwhile if you've never seen or walked in one before. I've never done it by daylight, as this used to take place Saturday night.
It's my personal feeling and opinion that you don't have to believe in anything, or be a Catholic, to come participate in this as a neighborhood community event. It promotes cultural diversity and some values I think most of us share: peace, community, dignity, and for a lot of people, faith. Check it out.
Full 2009 Schedule of Events PDF at Immaculate Conception Church website
2005 Indy Story and photo essay on the Virgin's Feast Day at Immaculate Conception Church, Durham