A holiday that is celebrated throughout Mexico to honor the dead is now coming to Solana Beach.
Co-sponsored by La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation and the Parks & Recreation Commission, the city’s inaugural Dia de los Muertos celebration is slated for Nov. 1 at La Colonia Park.
“Dia de los Muertos plans to share the rich, traditional holiday by inviting local residents together with the Solana Beach community at large to design and decorate altars on the bleachers at La Colonia Park, paying homage to loved ones who have already left,” explained Tracy Weiss, a member of the event committee.
The first-ever event will include chalk drawings on the sidewalk for impromptu displays. There will be live entertainment with performances by an Aztec dance troupe, a Mariachi band and a Ballet Folklórico ensemble. There will also be a screening of the 2014 animated film, “The Book of Life.”
Event organizers expect 800 to 1,000 people to participate in the occasion.
Many of the organizers have deep roots in the community. Through the festivities, they hope to honor their ancestors who helped create La Colonia de Eden Gardens.
“It’s become a very important part of our culture,” said Manny Aguilar, president and board chairman of the La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation. His wife, Solana Beach native Mary Ann Aguilar, initially suggested the community celebrate the holiday with an annual event. “This is becoming a way to unite the founding families and the families that used to live here.”
“We have a story to be told,” added Solana Beach native Lisa Montes. “We are the oldest neighborhood in Solana Beach. There’s much history.”
Dia de los Muertos will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at La Colonia Park, 715 Valley Ave. in Solana Beach. Other event sponsors include H.G. Fenton Company, SDG&E and the MiraCosta College Foundation.
To reserve an altar space, contact Brittney Rojo at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marina Huesias at email@example.com. Chalk altar space will also be available the day of the event. No registration is required.