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Our Guide to Día de los Muertos 2015

Altar by Elefante from Last Year

For the last couple of years, Los Angeles and the surrounding cities have hosted countless events and celebrations for Día de los Muertos. The popularity of the day keeps growing ever year and it shows no signs of letting up. So rather than compiling a grand list of almost every Día de los Muertos event happening around town, I’ve selected a handful of events that capture the tradition and spirit of the day. Please enjoy this list, and if you have another event you'd like the community know about, please post in the comments.

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Self Help Graphics & Art’s 42nd Annual Dia de los Muertos Exhibition: Alas de los Muertos, The Return of the Souls 10/22

Self Help is credited with being one of the oldest institutions in the United States that have helped popularize the Día de los Muertos tradition. Hosting multiple events throughout the month of October, this year will mark their first exhibition in their newly renovated space. The SHG Día de los Muertos commemorative serigraphs are internationally recognized as important works, giving artist the opportunity to interpret their vision of Día de los Muertos. This year’s curator and artist, Sonia Romero, will be producing a 3D Printed edition based on her work. The night will also feature art by Pavel Acevedo, Agustin Artequihua-Ortiz, Lorraine Bubar, Ruben Esparza, Ricardo Estrada, Judithe Hernandez, Oscar Magallanes, Jackie Boy Mora, Ezequiel Peña, Wayne Perry, Frank Romero, Nancy Romero, Sonia Romero.

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Noche de Altares Catrina Ball 10/23

As part of Santa Ana’s Noche de Altares, the Catrina Ball is a fundraiser to help keep the community event going every year. The event will feature live music, local artist exhibiting their works, food, drinks, and dancing. This is the 13th year for Noche de Altares, which has become the largest celebration of Dia de los Muertos in Orange County. This is truly a community event that never disappoints.

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Self Help Graphics & Art’s Día de los Muertos Community Art Workshop 10/24

Held on every Saturday in October, the community art workshops involve the whole family in creating skulls, papel picado, and other materials that will be used for the Día de los Muertos celebration. All materials and teachers are provided by Self Help Graphics. Wear clothing that you won’t mind getting dirty and spend a Saturday afternoon creating art. Workshops include paper flower making, papel picado, mask decorating, and paper mache calaveras.

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Hollywood Forever Día de los Muertos 10/24

Hollywood Forever has been hosting their celebration for the last 16 years and they’re one of the few events to actually host the event at a cemetery. Much like the day itself, Hollywood Forever has continued to grow over the years hosting Grammy winning artist and larger than life altars. As such, the price of admission has also gone up, with this year’s entrance being $20 a person. When you add the cost of paying for parking, buying food, and buying artisan works inside, this is also one of the more expensive events in the city. This years main musical act will be Lila Downs.

Altar by Elefante from Last Year
Altar by Elefante from Last Year
Altar by Elefante from Last Year

Self Help Graphics & Art & Grand Park Present Noche de Ofrenda 10/24

This years Noche de Ofrenda will mark the 3rd of Grand Park hosting this Self Help Graphics & Art tradition. The night will include a ceremony honoring the dead and featuring prayer led by the local indigenous community. Los Angeles-based poets and musicians will be performing as well. Grand Park will also be hosting a community altar, in which guests are invited to share ofrendas. There will also be altars created by community organizations from all over the city, honoring various themes and individuals. The altars will be on display from October 24th through November 2nd.

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Old Town Maravilla - Neighborhood Fiesta & Market Place 10/25

Mercado Maravilla and TONALLI STUDIO will be hosting a Día De Los Muertos market place for those looking to make personal ofrendas and altars at home.They will have freshly baked pan de muerto, Marigolds, Candles, artifacts, and wearable art. They will also be hosting the Imperials Car Club.

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Placita Olvera Día De Los Muertos Celebrations 10/25 through 11/2

Placita Olvera is the birthplace our Los Angeles and for the last 30 years, it has also been home to Día de los Muertos celebrations that go on for days. Starting October 25th, the Olvera Street Merchants will be hosting nightly processions and activities through November 2nd. They will also have community altars on display, along with arts and crafts for children on the weekend.

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Self Help Graphics & Art's 42nd Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration

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For the last 42 years, Self Help Graphics & Art has organized one of the most popular Día de los Muertos celebrations in the city. Grounded in the tradition of being community oriented and free, it’s no wonder that they’re one of the oldest institutions keeping the Día de los Muertos tradition going. The night will feature a community procession from Mariachi Plaza to Mendez Learning Center, where the event is going to be held. Musical acts include Brenton Wood, The Barrio Stomp, The Wise Guys, Becky Lynn Blanco & Her Penny Matches, Roots Music Dj David Frutos,El-Haru Kuroi, and Sin Color.  There will be food and craft vendors, face painting, and children's workshops.
Ataúd y Alma at KGB Gallery 11/6 & 7

KGB has hosted some great Día de los Muertos celebrations over the years. From their musical acts to the artist that have been through their doors, there’s no shortage of some of the big names they have hosted. This years celebration will be two days, will feature different musical acts each day. Performing Saturday: NKRiot, Chubbhouse Y Los Honeys, La Chilanga Banda Cafe Tacvba tributes, La Diabla, dj Manny Fresco NY. Performing Sunday: EV Dub, Los Waraperos, Cumbia Machine, Sergio Arau Y Los Heavy Mex, dj Jeremy Sole. The list of participating artist is just way to huge to list, but you can be it will be a whose who list.

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El Velorio at Plaza de la Raza 11/7

Plaza de la Raza holds it down every year an amazing Día de los Muertos celebration. This years won’t be an exception as they will have an all ages section from 4 to 10 pm with face painting and activities for kids. There will be performances by Plaza de la Raza Youth Mariachi Ensemble, Pacion Folklor Mexicana, and the Plaza de la Raza Folkorico Ensemble. Musical guest include Santos De Los Angeles, La Sonora Dinamita, and Casa de Calacas.

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Noche de Altares Santa Ana 11/7

Presented by El Centro Cultural de México, this years Noche de Altares will be the biggest yet. Holding it down for Orange County these last 13 years, Noche de Ofrenda closes off the Día de los Muertos festivities for the year. The event will feature community altars, vendors, and musical acts.

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