Formerly known as Missoula's Festival of the Dead, the Festival of Remembrance would typically bring artists, mourners, celebrators of life and folks from all cultures to downtown Missoula for a parade down Higgins Street followed by activities at Caras Park. In order to maintain and support a healthy Missoula community, there will not be a procession this year, which shouldn't surprise you at all. So here's the plan for this pandemic year.

The 28th year of this uniquely Missoula tradition will be virtual, with an art show and film to visit online, with more events to be added soon, keep an eye on the official Festival Facebook page. Festival organizers do encourage you to think of an alternative, like an art project and/or gathering with family on November 2nd to celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us. Please feel free to bring projects or objects of remembrance to Caras Park to add to, or put around, the Remembrance altar, which will be under the tent from Friday, October 30 through Monday, November 2. If you choose to add items, keep in mind that the Festival of Remembrance is an all-inclusive multicultural event that honors life and death through community involvement in the arts.

There's also an Honor/Remember Mixed Media Group Exhibit up right now at The Artists' Shop art gallery at 127 Higgins. It'll be up through the end of the month and they are still open daily. And since the Festival is all about healthy mourning, I thought I'd bring your attention to a local grief website that was founded by an amazing professor at the U of M. Mary-Ann Sontag Bowman shares some incredible information that can help you through your thoughts and emotions, and offers strategies for coping.