Dia de los Muertos Events 2014

"Walking Altar" at Olvera Street (Elise Thompson)

“Walking Altar” at Olvera Street (Elise Thompson)

Olvera Street Merchants Association Now through Nov. 2, 2014 FREE

The Olvera Street Merchants and El Pueblo Historical Monument 125 Paseo de la Plaza in downtown Los Angeles (across from Union Station.) (213) 625-7074.

Blessings and Novenaria Processions take place along Olvera Street through November 2nd. The candlelit Novenaria procession starts at 7pm. The participants in the procession wearing calaca masks and facepaint dress as the same characters every year. A bride and groom flirt and dance, occasionally batting their eyes at someone in the crowd. Other than the dancing newlyweds, the shrieking ghost is the only calaca figure to interact with the crowd, suddenly jumping into people’s faces and screaming in a way that is simultaneously terrifying and hilarious.

Before the procession, ceremonial cleansings and blessings will be offered. Note: It is appreciated if you do not photograph the blessings, but you may photograph the procession. Champurrado and Pan de Muertos will be served.  The Dia de los Muertos community altars (las ofrendas) and Merchant family altars will be on display outdoors in the Plaza area and in the various shops on Olvera Street from now until November 3, 2014. It is probably the best event for learning about the history and traditions of the holiday. Weekend festivities include face painting, mariachis, Aztec dancers, and ballet folklorico.

Self Help Graphics  Sunday November 2, 2014 5pm – 11pm FREE

Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School 1200 Plaza Del Sol, Boyle Heights, CA 90033

Self Help Graphics, the first to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in LA, mixes tradition with an artier take on the holiday. This year marks their 41st annual celebration. Expect a Traditional Ceremonial Blessing, Food and Craft Vendors, Face Painting and Children’s Workshops. Live music by Las Cafeteras, Raul y Mexia, Metralleta de Oro, The Stone Soul Echoes. All of the cool kids go to this one. It is always a fantastic party. Use the Goldline Metro (Pico/Aliso Stop) – Limited Paid Parking On Site.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery November 1, 2014  Noon – Midnight $20

6000 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038

It is the cemetery’s 15th annual Dia de los Muertos festival. This one is the biggie everyone can’t miss. It has the best costumes and altars. It’s also the most commercial. There will be Aztec dancers, arts and crafts vendors and an art exhibit. Live music by Carla Morrison
La Santa Cecilia, Gaby Moreno, Los Cenzontles, Mariachi Divas de Cindy, and  Shea. There will also be food vendors. Day of the Dead costumes are strongly encouraged (I like to dress as a bride myself. At the very least, wear calavera make-up and either a hat or flowers in your hair). NO outside food, alcohol, bikes, or pets. Buy tickets here

El Velorio at Plaza de la Raza November 8, 2014  7 p.m to 2 a.m. $20

3540 N. Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90031

This multicultral event  is a benefit for Plaza de la Raza. Some of the proceeds will be used to support local emerging writers and artists. Get there early if you want to have your face painted. Face painting starts at 2pm. The featured performer is El Conjunto Nueva Ola. Live music from Viento Callajero and seven DJs including Jeremy Sole and Gazoo.  Art from over 50 contemporary artists will be on exhibit. There will be kid friendly activities, ofrendas, food and drinks, a 21+ beer garden, and a staged photo booth by Edward de la Torre. Buy Tickets

Procession at Self Help Graphics (Elise Thompson)

Procession at Self Help Graphics (Elise Thompson)

Grand Park Dia de los Muertos Concert November 1, 2014  3pm – 10pm FREE

Grand Park 200 North Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012

Grand Park Downtown has altars on display all week. You are welcome to bring your own offerings for the community altar. On Saturday, the park will welcome live bands Palenke Soultribe, La Chamba, and Very Be Careful, plus DJ Paw. There will be Aztec dancers, ballet folklorico, sculptures and large-scale botanic installations. Face painting is free for children 12 and under, and $5 for adults. Food vendors include The Grilled Cheese Truck, Rushed Art Food Cart, Street Kitchen LA, Jack’s Thai Food, India Jones and LA Beat favorite gourmet paletas, Artesana Pops. No sneaking in alcohol or even bottled water. No narcotics, tents, firecrackers, explosives, firearms, weapons, vaping, meanies or frowny faces.

 The Folk Tree  Now – November 4, 2014 (626) 795-8733 FREE

217 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena

This year marks the 31st Annual Day of the Dead Altars and Ephemera exhibition. As our own Victoria Thomas describes it in The Rocky Road to the Folk Tree,  “more than 40 local artists have created ofrendas, or altars, honoring loved ones.  As is a tradition at The Folk Tree, Nancy Ann Jones has created a community altar, where visitors are invited to write messages to the deceased and tie them to sticks which are planted in a tray of sand. At the close of the holiday, the artist ceremonially burns the messages to send them on their way.” On November 1, Janeenas & Las Banditas will provide en calavera face-painting from 1pm-5pm ($10 for a half-face $20 for full face make-up). There will also be Muertos head-pieces and flowered barettes for sale so you can continue on to your next event looking cool.

Rose Hills November 2, 2014 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m FREE

3888 Workman Mill Road Whittier, CA 90601 Entrance, Gate 1

Rose Hills Cemetery is hosting their 5th annual Dia de los Muertos Cultural Festival Sunday. They invite you to ” walk through SkyRose Chapel’s art exhibit, stroll through the marketplace for special treasures, delight in L.A.’s delicious cuisine and sweets, visit beautifully crafted altars, and enjoy the sounds and performances of wonderful local artists.” There will be an arts & crafts marketplace as well as arts & crafts for the kids. Diva Mariachis will be performing.

Calavera Fashion Show At Mariachi Plaza November 1, 2014 5pm – 1:30am $20 – $80

1835 E 1st St, Los Angeles, California 90033 (Boyle Heights)

The cash only beer “jardin” opens at 5pm with local DJ Brian Morales. The”Calavera Fashion Show & Walking Altars” will open the night’s events at 7pm, featuring prominent Chicano artists. The event will be hosted by the 90’s Illegal Interns Flavio Morales and Richard Estrada. There will be “Mexican American musical mashups with our Residenté DJs on the toca discos concurrently in the Beer Jardin (21+), on Mariachi Plaza stage (all ages), and inside the Bar (21+).”

Chef Jose Melendez Jr. will be cooking at Eastside Grub inside the Beer Jardin & outside. Enjoy live mural painting by Robert Vargas in the Mariachi Plaza and live Body Painting exhibits by Sandra E. Artist. There will also be face painting booths for all ages.

Day of the Dead make-up and costumes are strongly encouraged.  There is very limited reserved seating for the fashion show. Entry to the beer garden is separate. Free before 8pm & $10 thereafter 21+. Bring your dancing shoes! Purchase tickets

Calaca makeup at Olvera Street (Elise Thompson)

Calaca makeup at Olvera Street (Elise Thompson)

San Pedro’s Dia de los Muertos Festival  November 1, 2014 5pm. – 11pm FREE

The the 300 Block of 6th Street between Mesa and Centre Streets, San Pedro

The streets of Historic Downtown San Pedro at the LA waterfront will “come alive with art, culture, delicious cuisine and live entertainment.” There will be altars created by local artists and community leaders, face painting, children’s arts & crafts, strolling musicians, and food from dozens of local restaurants. You can also enjoy shopping at the Artist’s Fair.

24th Street Theatre – Dia de los Muertos  November 2, 2014 6-10pm FREE

24th Street Theatre 1117 West 24th St. Los Angeles, CA 90007 213) 745-6516

Louie Cruz Beltran and his Latin Jazz Orchestra will headline 24th Street Theatre’s 8th annual Dia de los Muertos block party. Celebrate with music, dance, homemade tamales, face painting, crafts booths and a graveyard where families can make their own altars for their departed loved ones. Entertainment includes Ballet Folkloriko, Danza de los Chanelos and Katrina on stilts, Banda Alma de Valle, Aztec dancing and mariachis.

If you would like to take part in the community procession to the theatre starting at Estrella Park, please arrive at 4pm for make-up and special activities in the park. The park is located off 23rd St. between Figueroa and Hoover. A donation of $5 is suggested for makeup to benefit the Theatre.

El Sereno’s Dia de los Muertos  November 1, 2014 3pm – 10pm

Hecho en Mexico 4976 Huntington Drive South, Los Angeles, California 90032

El Sereno’s 5th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration will close down Huntington Drive between Pueblo Ave and Portola Ave for the festivities. Live bands include Viento Callejero and Buypongo. More than 20 local food vendors, a kids area with face painting, handcraft vendors, and live art are just a few of the day’s activities. The city is also presenting their famous Altar Walk, an art exhibit, a beer garden, and a  community altar. The Pedestrian Tunnel Art Gallery, located at Pueblo and Huntington, will feature a 10 altar display from 3pm-8pm. Bring acoustic instruments and your voice to join in making music. There is also an Altar Walk procession, and the event will terminate with a symbolic balloon release.

Noche De Altares November 1st, 2014 1pm – 10pm FREE

4th and Birch Streets, Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana celebrates its annual Noche de Alturas with a large, family-friendly community festival. At 4:30 pm La Catrina begins the Procession and Lighting of the Candles. You can anticipate beautifully created altars, face painting and art workshops for children, as well as cultural performances and live music. Local artists will be selling their wares and local restaurants will be selling a variety of food. Finally, attendees will have a photo opportunities with La Catrina, the modern-day icon of Día de los Muertos created by Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada.

Casa de las Calaveras™ October 31 4pm-10pm November 2, 3, 11am – 10:00pm FREE

Newland House Museum 19820 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, California 92648

George Newnam’s Casa de las Calaveras™ life size calaveras will be on exhibit at the Newland House Museum for three days. This Day of the Dead attraction tells the story of newlyweds José and Gloria, “as they journey back to the living world to enjoy earthly delights and missed opportunities.” The happy couple is displayed in a series of  dioramas chronicling their adventures as they return to earth each Day of the Dead, including visiting a fortune teller and getting married.

This traveling exhibit, sponsored by the Huntington Beach Historical Society, will be the centerpiece of a Dia de los Muertos festival. Enjoy food from vendors including The Royal Tea and Treatery, Pascals and Iron Press, plus Food Trucks, Live Entertainment, Tarot Readings / Fortune Tellers, Fire-Side Ghost Stories, Graveyard with Artist Ofrendas, Specialty Artist Vendors, and Face Painting.

Catrina Photo of original artwork by Odin via Flickr

Catrina Photo of original artwork by Odin via Flickr

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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