San Diego

Día de los Muertos Events Happening in San Diego

The special holiday marks a chance for families to reunite with their deceased loved ones since it's believed their souls come back to the world on Nov. 1 and 2

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Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is just around the corner and thousands of people in San Diego County are preparing for this important celebration that honors loved ones who have passed.

The holiday, which is celebrated mostly in Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2, is a reunion of families at their loved one's place of rest: the cemetery. It is believed that souls that have departed will come back to the world to visit with the family on those days.

Looking for Day of the Dead celebrations around the county? Here's a list:

Oct. 29

2nd Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration
3 to 8 p.m.; Downtown Chula Vista

The free community event will include fun for the entire family. The celebration includes a community altar, an Altar Contest and Catrín Ensemble Contest for cash prizes, music and dance performances from three different locations, kids crafts, treats, delicious food, vendors, themed photo ops throughout the neighborhood and a special screening of Disney Pixar’s COCO in the Memorial Bowl starting at 7 p.m.

Old Town Día de los Muertos
Multiple days; Old Town
Old Town will be hosting celebrations starting on Oct. 29. Many businesses around Old Town have placed altars to honor their loved ones. There will be tour of altars, food, entertainment and much more. Also, on Nov. 2, there will be a possession held on San Diego Ave.

City Heights Dia de los Muertos
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; City Heights
There will be community altars, face painting, mask making, and prizes for the best catrina and catrin contest, plus dancing, singing and music.

8th Annual Encinitas Dia de los Muertos Celebration
noon to 4 p.m.; Encinitas Community Center
Residents will see a variety of art-making workshops, artist demonstrations, student exhibitions, live Mariachi and other musical performances while having an opportunity to actively participate in a “Community Ofrenda,” a public recognition of family and friends.

Día de los Muertos Celebration
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Plaza Bonita
Children can enjoy Coco characters and face painting and adults can enjoy the live entertainment throughout the day with Aztec dancers, a Mariachi Band, Grupo Folklorico Herencia Mexicana and more.

Oct. 30

Día de los Muertos Celebration
6 p.m.; The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
For the second Día de los Muertos Celebration at The Rady Shell, the San Diego Symphony will present an evening honoring Latin music and culture, and memorializing those who have passed on. The Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Los Camperos headlines the event and is joined by the skilled dancers of Grupo Folclórico Chiquina Palafox. Also, the evening will feature special Día de los Muertos food and drinks available for purchase from The Rady Shell Provisions and Día de los Muertos park activation activities.

Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead Celebration
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Outdoor Copley Plaza
Altars, crafts, music and theatre performances inspired by the holiday will bring fun for the whole family to enjoy. With host Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti, featuring guest artists DAK Danza Azteca Kuauhkoalt, the San Diego Guild of Puppetry, Colectivo Abracadabra, Jassiel Santillán and Maya Sofía.

Nov. 1

27th Annual Día De Los Muertos Festival
3 p.m.; California Center for the Arts, Escondido
The California Center for the arts will have altars, dance performances by the Aztec dance group Xinachtli and Tierra Caliente Academy of Arts, craft tables, an outdoor DJ and an artisan craft market.

Día de los Muertos Celebration
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Veterans Park 
Residents in the South Bay community can come together and create a group altar to honor the loved ones they’ve lost. Attendees can decorate the altar with ofrendas, flowers and non-flammable candles while celebrating and honoring the lives of the ones who have passed.

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