Old Town to hold Día de los Muertos celebration
Published - 10/25/19 - 12:00 PM | 9339 views | 1 1 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will be the scene for Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, traditionally celebrated throughout Mexico and San Diego Nov. 1 and 2 each year. This year, the festivities will begin Nov. 1 in the Fiesta de Reyes plaza and then head into the state park on Nov. 2 through Nov. 3.

Día de los Muertos is a community-wide celebration of the history, Hispanic culture and rich heritage of the region. It is at this time of year that the spirits of loved ones who have died are thought to return to celebrate with friends and family.

The state park will play host to a lively celebration full of activities and attractions for the whole family that will be a fitting tribute to those who have gone before us. A professional artist will be painting a gigantic Day of the Dead skull in the middle of the park.

There will also be a public altar on which visitors can place remembrances, many craft stations, a prize wheel, live entertainment, two Saturday and two Sunday performances of a specially written Día de los Muertos play with professional actors, and booths featuring artists, Day of the Dead merchandise, food and drink samples, tamales, face painters and more.

A vibrant Día de los Muertos parade will proceed around the state park plaza on Saturday at 5 p.m. featuring many local groups and performers.

Larger-than-life puppets will roam the park and pinatas will rule the day for kids. Merchants and museums in the state park will host activities and many will be displaying altars dedicated to noteworthy San Diegans created especially for the celebration. An altar map will be available for those wishing to tour them all.

A very popular activity that has grown each year, will be the Sidewalk Graveyard Community Art project on Nov. 1 and 2 where the public can memorialize a loved one or friend in chalk on the sidewalk in the middle of the park.

Adult visitors who wish to raise a glass to the departed can do so in a beer garden on Saturday and live entertainment will fill the park stage both days. There will be a very popular Catrin y Catrina Costume Contest on the plaza stage on Saturday. 

As is the custom every year, the Fiesta de Reyes courtyard at the north end of the state park will be full of fanciful, humorous, and visually stimulating décor, offered as tributes to many of San Diego’s early citizens. Many life-sized Catrina skeleton dolls in fancy dress, and many larger-than-life-size, hold court at Fiesta de Reyes throughout the fall season.

New displays are added every year, each one trying to outdo the last, so this is not to be missed. This year, there will be more than 50 unique Día de los Muertos displays in Fiesta de Reyes,

Lively folklorico dancers, dressed in Día de los Muertos costumes, will be performing on the Fiesta de Reyes stage throughout the celebration, starting on Saturday, Nov. 2 and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 3.

The activities in the state park start at 11 a.m. each day and go until 9 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. The party will continue in the Fiesta de Reyes plaza until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Free parking is available throughout Old Town with extra parking available across Taylor Street in the CalTrans parking lot all day on weekend days and after 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For information and a complete schedule of events, visit fiestadereyes.com/ddlm or dayofthedeadsd.com.

Fiesta de Reyes Dia de los Muertos event schedule

Friday, Nov. 1

Fiesta de Reyes

• Noon – 8        Face painters at FdR, Barra Barra, and The Cosmopolitan

• 6 – 8:45      Los Rios Mariachi Fusion

Saturday, Nov 2

Park Plaza

• Noon – 9        Tamale cart

• Noon – 4        Kid’s area

Children’s Arts and Crafts in plaza

Giant skull painting demo

$5 face painters (for kids only)

Wheel of Fortune

• 1:15 – 5:45          Giant skeleton puppet bride and groom

• Noon – 8        Face painters at FdR, Barra Barra, The Cosmopolitan, and Beer Garden

• 1:00 – 1:30          Dia de los Muertos Theatrical play

• 1 – 9          Beer garden at El Fandango

• 2 – 2:30          Dia de los Muertos Theatrical play

• 2:30 – 2:50          Aztec Dancers

• 3 – 3:30          Umbrella Ship & Stilt Walker

• 3 – 3:30          Dia de los Muertos Theatrical play

• 3:30 – 3:50          Aztec Dancer

• 4 – 4:30          Umbrella Ship & Stilt Walker, 2 Mythological Creature stilt puppets

• 4:30 – 5:00          Costume Contest (plaza stage)

• 5 – 5:30          PARADE

• 5:30 –   8:30       Santana Pa Ti (Latin music band)

• 7 – 7:30          Giant skeleton puppet and skeleton stilt walker (at Fiesta de Reyes)

• 8 – 8:30          Giant skeleton puppet and skeleton stilt walker (at Fiesta de Reyes)

Fiesta de Reyes

11:15 – 3        Folklórico Dancing

3:30 – 6:15          Jesse Michel (Latin music band)

6:45 – 10:30        Los Rios Mariachi Fusion

 

Sunday, Nov. 3

Park Plaza

• Noon – 8        Tamale cart

• Noon – 4        Kid’s area

Children’s Arts and Crafts in plaza

Giant skull painting demo

$5 face painters (for kids only)

Wheel of Fortune

• Noon – 12:30     Dia de los Muertos Theatrical play

• 12:15 – 3:45       Giant skeleton puppet bride and groom

• Noon – 8        Face painters at FdR, Barra Barra, The Cosmopolitan, and Beer Garden

• 12:30 – 12:50     Aztec Dancers

• 1 – 1:30          Dia de los Muertos Theatrical play

• 1:30 – 1:50          Aztec Dancers

• 2 – 5          Luis Max & Blue Moon (Latin music band)

Fiesta de Reyes

10:15 – 2        Folklórico Dancing

2:30 – 6:15          Jesse Michel (Latin music band)

6:45 – 9:30          Los Rios Mariachi Fusion.

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