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Arts and Entertainment

9 Awesome Dia De Los Muertos Events In Los Angeles

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Dia de los Muertos celebrations that honor those who have gone to the other side kick off early this weekend in Los Angeles. We've got events throughout the city that will have music, dancing, and food, as well as art exhibits and ceremonial altar decorations. Most of these events encourage folks to get in the spirit of this Mexican holiday and dress up with calavera (skull) and calaca (skeleton) makeup and costumes. Here are some of our favorite events.

People dressed for the Day of the Dead celebration at Olvera Street (Photo by Cory Hanson via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
Olvera Street

Olvera Street will be having a days-long celebration for Dia de los Muertos from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3 with daily events at the El Pueblo Historical Monument. This includes nightly candlelight Novenario processions honoring the deceased from Oct. 25 to Nov. 2 starting at 7 p.m. each night. Free sweet bread (pan de muerto) and champurrado (a Mexican hot drink) will be served to folks who stop by. And on the weekends, expect celebrations with "face painting, street theater performances, strolling mariachi bands, Aztec dancers, art workshops, puppets, ballet folklorico, piñatas." Decorated altars will be on display in the plaza and in a number of stores on Olvera Street throughout this celebration. There will also be an here.

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Dia de los Muertos celebration at Grand Park (Photo by Calvin Flemming via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
Grand Park

Over in downtown's Grand Park, you can celebrate Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 1. From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., there will be a bevy of musical acts like electronic group Palenke Soultribe, Aztecan and Oaxacan dance troupes, art installations, decorated altars on display and food vendors. Most importantly, there will be a bar at the event. If you want to get your face painted (yes, adults are welcome to do it), it will cost $5. Find out more info here.

Day of the Dead celebration at Hollywood Forever (Photo by David Carstens via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery will be throwing its 15th annual Dia de los Muertos festival on Nov. 1, so they're calling it their "Quinceañera." The 12-hour event goes on from noon to midnight that day, with musical performances from the likes of Mexican indie-pop singer, Carla Morrison, to L.A.-based band La Santa Cecilia. There will be decorated ceremonial altars, Aztec dancers, an art exhibition, and arts and crafts vendors. And what celebration is complete without food? They'll have food vendors from around town at the event as well. Day of the Dead Calaca costumes are highly encouraged, so come dressed if you can. Tickets are $20. More info here.

Calavera Fashion Show At Mariachi Plaza

Tropico de Nopal Gallery Art-Space and Eastside Luv are teaming up this year to bring on their "Calavera Fashion Show & Walking Altars" event at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. Expect food, a beer garden, and face painting booths at this 21+ event. There will be DJs spinning on the ones and twos, and you'll also have the chance to belt out some tunes with karaoke in the plaza (we're talking about MorrisseyOke and MariachiOke). Folks are encouraged to get dressed in Dia de los Muertos attire and make sure to bring dancing shoes so you can celebrate those "who have passed to el otro lado." Tickets range from $20 to $80. More info here.

ArtBites at LACMA

If you're a fan of art and food, this Dia de los Muertos event might be your thing. ArtBites will take people on a tour through LACMA’s collection of Latin American art on the afternoon of Nov. 1, and give you the lowdown on the holiday's myths, folklore, and also of course, food. After the tour, the group will go to Surfas Test Kitchen to learn how to make a traditional southern Mexican meal. Tickets are $100, and that includes the tour, ingredients and wine. Find out more info here.

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San Pedro's Dia de los Muertos Festival

Over at the Historic Downtown San Pedro, there will be a free street party on 6th Street between Mesa and Centre Streets on Nov. 1. There will be Latin American cuisine, musical performers, an altar exhibition and competition and local vendors selling a bevy of different things, including calaveras and calacas. The event goes from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. More info here.

People in costume for Self Help Graphics & Art Day of the Dead event (Photo by Veronica Jauriqui via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
Self Help Graphics & Art

This it Los Angeles OG public Dia de los Muertos celebration: Self Help Graphics & Art will be hosting their 41st annual celebration at Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez High School in Boyle Heights on Nov. 2 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be a traditional ceremonial blessing and food and craft vendors at this free event. More info here.

Rose Hills

Rose Hills cemetery in Whittier is honoring the deceased with their 5th annual Dia de los Muertos Cultural Festival on Nov. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can check out an art exhibit at their SkyRose Chapel and their decorated altars. There will be food and craft vendors, and performances from local artists. More info here.

People in makeup at El Velorio (Photo by Alex Thamer via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
El Velorio at Plaza de la Raza

The El Velorio Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 8 in Lincoln Heights will be an art exhibition and a benefit for Plaza de la Raza. From 7 p.m to 2 a.m., DJs (like KCRW's Jeremy Sole) and musicians will be playing some tunes, and there will be works of art from over 50 contemporary artists on display. Tickets are $20. More info here.

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