Celebrate Día de los Muertos in San Diego 2021

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Celebrate Día de los Muertos by honoring the lives of friends, relatives and loved ones who have passed away. Also called Day of the Dead, this traditional Mexican holiday starts on Oct. 31 and ends on Nov. 2.

Festivities include creating small altars at home, citywide festivals filled with processions, family altars, dance, music, costumes, face painting and food. Participate in San Diego’s virtual and in-person Día de los Muertos events—make crafts and remember the people who have filled your life with love, wisdom and guidance.

FREE Old Town Dia De Los Muertos. Nov. 2, 6:30 pm. Traditional candlelight procession starting at sunset, beginning in front of the Immaculate Conception Church at San Diego Ave. and Twiggs St. The procession will travel down San Diego Ave. to El Campo Santo Cemetery. Restaurants, businesses, museums, and shops will create over 50 traditional and contemporary Día de los Muertos altars (ofrendas). Visitors are encouraged to add their own mementos, photos, and written tributes to loved ones at the public ofrenda in El Campo Cemetary. Restaurants will provide special menus (starting Oct. 1), live music and activities for the entire family, including traditional face painting, mask making and more. OldTownSanDiego.org

Dia de los Muertos Encinitas. Featuring Ballet Folklorico el Tapatio de San Dieguito and mariachi music, art-making workshops, face painting, Catrina costume contests and more. Oct. 30, 12-4 pm. www.encinitasarts.org

City Heights Dia de los Muertos Celebration invites your family to a one-of-a-kind Dia de los Muertos celebration! Oct. 30, 11 am-5 pm. Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego.  www.facebook.com/cityheightsdiadelosmuertos 

FREE 20th Annual Oceanside Dia de los Muertos Festival. Oct. 24, 10 am-4 pm. This multi-cultural festival celebrates the traditional Dia de los Muertos, a fun family-friendly event with retail and food booths featuring traditional live entertainment, community and family altars, music, Classic Car Show with car altares, marigolds from Mellano Flowers, Day of the Dead bread, a Chalk Cemetery and children’s activity areas. 311 N Tremont St. Oceanside. www.friendsofoceansidediadelosmuertos.org

OFRENDA: A Dia de los Muertos Celebration. Oct. 31, 6 pm. Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar team up in OFRENDA, celebrating one of Mexico’s most beloved holidays, Día de Los Muertos, in an unforgettable visual and musical experience. OFRENDA pays tribute to traditional music and dances from different regions as well as the amazing music from Disney's Coco. 222 Marina Park Way, San Diego. www.theshell.org/performances/Ofrenda 

FREE Día de los Muertos. Oct. 24. Family-friendly event with exciting cultural activities. Traditional Mexican and Indigenous heritage performances, authentic Mexican and American foods and beverages will be available. La Colonia Park, 715 Valley Ave., Solana Beach. www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us

FREE Día de los Muertos Celebration. Altar displays, live music, dancing, sugar skull face painting, stilt walkers and more Día de los Muertos activities. Nov. 1, 7–10:30 pm. Terra Nova Plaza394 E H St., Chula Vista. www.terranovaplaza.com

Updated: October 2021

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