In conjunction with the Encinitas Friends of the Arts, the city will present its third annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Día de los Muertos is a celebration of life and remembrance that is traditionally celebrated each year on Nov. 1 and 2.
The free festival on Oct. 29 is set for noon to 4 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center, where Mayor Kristin Gaspar will make welcoming remarks and select the first opportunity drawing.
“This city event raises awareness and an appreciation for this significant Latino cultural celebration,” Gaspar said. “Last year’s event drew more than 4,000 people and we anticipate a larger response this year.”
The family-friendly celebration will include continuous performances: Danza Azteca Fuego will bless the Ofrendas with ancient traditional dances, followed by Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, Ballet Folklorico de San Dieguito, Ballet Folklorico El Tapatio and a finale with Mariachi Real de San Diego in a Juan Gabriel tribute. The event also includes skull face painting, tissue flowers and sugar skull art-making workshops, a Day of the Dead exhibit by Paul Ecke Central school students and numerous Catrinas in costume for selfie photos.
Beatriz Villarreal, Program Director of the Mano a Mano Foundation, will emcee the event, and outside the Community Center will be a low rider car show by the Por Siempre Car Club, artist demonstrations, vendors and food trucks.
“This is a huge deal for the Latino community,” said Dr. Villarreal. “Dia de los Muertos provides people with the opportunity to rejoice in the living memories of their loved ones. It is an important way to celebrate our culture and serves as an educational resource, teaching people around the world about our traditions.”
A Community Ofrenda — or remembrance altar — will feature a replica of the Surfing Madonna, by artist Mark Patterson. All are invited to honor the memory of a loved one or friend by contributing a photograph or non-valuable remembrance to the Ofrenda.
Another Community Ofrenda is set to be on display in the lobby of the Encinitas Library along with a Day of the Dead student art exhibit and Family Altars, from Oct. 28 through Nov. 3. Families may sign up to make an altar at the Reservation Desk on a first-come, first-serve basis.