HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Hattiesburg Zoo will celebrate Dia de los Muertos on Wednesday, November 1.

Dia de los Muertos, celebrated mostly in Mexico, (on Nov 1st and 2nd) is like a family reunion—except dead ancestors are the guests of honor. Traditionally, the event focuses on receiving the souls of dead relatives with gladness and hospitality.

“We have a growing Hispanic population in Hattiesburg, and we wanted to engage in Zoo activities and educational aspects while catering to our Spanish speaking guests,” said Jeremy Cumpton, Director of Conservation, Education and Wildlife at the Hattiesburg Zoo.

Hispanic influences will be incorporated into animal encounters, crafts, book readings and education stations. The zoo will also extend its hours to 6:30 p.m. so that students can attend at the conclusion of their school day. The Asbury Discovery Center will also be beautifully adorned and transformed into an Ofrenda space.

William Carey University students will be volunteering throughout the day to help with English to Spanish translations for animal encounters and education stations and at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. they will on hand to assist with a special story time where a children’s storybook will be read in Spanish and translated into English.

Regular admission rates apply, and annual passes may be used for this event. Operating zoo hours for Dia de los Muertos are 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the last admission allowed at 6:00 p.m.