Festival Kick off at Calvary Cemetery – By Desiree Roose

The First Annual Before I Die Ohio will take place this October in Dayton, Ohio. The festival will kick off Thursday night, October 27th at historic Calvary Cemetery in Dayton.

History of Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery was established in 1872, on 100 acres of south Dayton countryside. It was ideally located at the highest vantage point in the city and adjacent to the canal. The canal was Dayton’s main thoroughfare at that time. (The canal is now South Dixie Boulevard). As the twentieth century drew near, trustees of St. Henry’s realized the value of consolidating their grounds with Calvary.

Over a twenty-year period, the burial plots of St. Henry’s were carefully moved to new sites within Calvary. During this process, some of the earliest graves could no longer be identified from their markers and family and church records could not be found. For this group of faithful departed a special place of re-interment was created. On All Souls Day, 1902, St. Henry’s Chapel was dedicated on its current site. Over the years Calvary has added over 100 more acres to the cemetery making it one of the largest around.

After the historic tour there will be a short Covid remembrance service. A moment of silence will take place to pay tribute to those friends and family members who have passed due to Covid 19.

Dia De Los Muertos Dinner

The festival kick off will begin with an introduction from Dodds President, Neil Fogarty on what the festival is and why he is so passionate about bringing this event to Ohio. At 7:00 we will serve dinner catered by La Catrina in Troy, Ohio. The dinner theme will be Dia De Los Muertos, which translates to Day of the Dead. It is a traditional holiday celebrated in Mexico. The holiday involves the gathering of family and friends to pay respects and to remember friends and family members who have died.

This remembrance does not have a solemn tone but is portrayed as a joyful celebration of the life prior to death. Bringing this festival to Ohio is important to have an open and engaging conversation about death and to change the views about death. We want people to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and feel education and awareness will spark change.

If you are interested in joining us, please visit our website at www.beforeidieohio.com.

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