Day of the Dead Events 2016 in Southern California

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is coming up soon, and we have your list of where to celebrate this holiday. Family fun and cultura all wrapped into one!

Day of the Dead altar

About Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead celebrates the unity of life and death, considered by many to be the most important holiday of the year in Mexico and other Latin American countries. This is the time when the spirits of loved ones who have died return to earth to celebrate this holiday with friends and family. It is not Halloween, nor is it meant to be scary. The holiday is spent in celebration with friends and family, as a time to offer hospitality to the spirits and to honor and remember loved ones.

Every year, I create a Day of the Dead altar in memory of my dad then visit a few Day of the Dead celebrations to share my memories with others. The events highlighted below are those loved by families year after year. Don’t see a favorite on the list? Let me know!

Where to celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Southern California

day of the dead in los angeles

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Santa Ana Train Station // Santa Ana

More information: http://www.vivalavidasantaana.com

Time: 12 pm – 10 pm
Where: 1000 E Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Viva La Vida is a free, family friendly festival. Participants in past events have dedicated altars to their parents, siblings, and friends as well as present causes such as soldiers who have died in war, women who have made an impact in history, and people who have died of illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, or diabetes.

In addition to viewing beautifully created altars, attendees will be able to buy local artwork from vendors while being entertained by cultural performances and live music. As our cultural awareness continues to grow through art and traditions; Viva La Vida takes us to a time when friends, family, and communities came together to celebrate life with all of our senses.

Rosemead Park // Rosemead

More information: http://www.casitadelpueblo.org/pages/day-of-the-dead-fiesta-rosemead-vendor-application

Time: 12 pm – 9 pm
Where: 4343 Encinita Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770
An eclectic line up of artists, vendors, live entertainers and food prepared for all to enjoy.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Oakdale Memorial Park // Glendora

More information: http://dayofthedead-oakdale.com

Time: 11:30 am – 4pm
Where: Oakdale Memorial Park & Mortuary, 1401 South Grand Avenue, Glendora, CA 91740
Enjoy a celebration which embraces the rich culture, mystic beauty and tradition of bringing to life the memories and celebrating the lives of loved ones with dignity and respect.

Visit the gardens lined with altars that tell stories, listen to music and enjoy the artwork that is inspired by the celebration of life!


 Friday, October 28, 2016

Heritage Museum // Santa Ana

More information: http://heritagemuseumoc.org/dia-de-los-muertos-workshop/

Time: 2 pm – 10 pm
Where: 3101 W. E Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92704

2pm to 7pm – Workshops and Activities
8pm to 10pm – Family Movie Night showing The Book of Life

–  Sugar Skull Painting at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, and 6pm
–  Create your own altar from 2pm to 7pm


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hollywood Forever // Los Angeles

More information: http://www.ladayofthedead.com/event-info/

Time: 12 pm – 12 am
Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038
The theme for this years event is Shamanic Visions of the Huichol. Featuring on the Main Stage: Lila Downs, Huichol Musical, La Misa Negra, El Mariachi Manchester and Edna Vazquez

General Admission: $20 per person – (please bring exact change); Children under 8 and Seniors 65 and over free until 4pm

  • Dia de Los Muertos attire strongly encouraged – Come dressed in your finest Calaca apparel
  • Spend an eventful day relaxing and watching the evening stars appear as the cemetery comes to life with joyful celebrations
  • Enjoy fine Mexican cuisine and a wide spectrum of Day of the Dead arts and crafts available for purchase
  • Plan ahead where to park and please carpool
  • Pre-Purchase your tickets to avoid lines day of the event

Old Town San Diego // San Diego

More information: http://www.dayofthedeadsd.com/index.html

Time: 11 am – 9 pm
Where: Old Town San Diego
This event is designed to celebrate the history, culture and heritage of the San Diego region and to pay homage to this very important and festive tradition. Old Town’s diverse and historic legacy makes it the best site in San Diego to hold this celebration.

Old Town itself takes the place of the mercado, a traditional marketplace, providing goods, entertainment, and regional foods. There will be entertainment and activities for participants of all ages to enjoy.

Downtown Anaheim Community Center // Anaheim

More information: https://www.facebook.com/AnaheimRec/DayoftheDead

Time: 8 pm – 9:45 pm
Where: Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
Join us for an amazing evening of community and culture to support Project S.A.Y. Youth Development Program! Immediately following the Halloween Parade. This event is FREE to the public and will feature live mariachi, dance, crafts, altars, food and vendors. For more information, call (714) 765-5191


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Museum of Latin American Art // Long Beach

More information: https://www.molaa.org/events/dia-de-los-muertos-festival/

Time: 11 am – 5 pm
Where: 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802

Explore Día de los Muertos, a vibrant celebration of life and loved ones at MOLAA’s annual festival! Learn more about this important holiday as you enjoy free art workshops, live performances, gallery tours, face painting and craft vendors! Día de Los Muertos attire is strongly encouraged – Come dressed as a calavera! Food and drinks available for purchase.

Old Pasadena // Pasadena

More information: http://www.oldpasadena.org/

Time: 2 pm – 6 pm
Where: Metro Right of Way Alley between Holly Street and Colorado Blvd., 100 E. Union Street

The playful spirit of Day of the Dead comes to life during the free fiesta designed for families to learn about the holiday together during a colorful, entertaining afternoon. The event features kids’ craft activities sponsored by Color Me Mine and the Armory Center for the Arts, make-up artists who specialize in calaveras(sugar skulls) face-painting, Day of the Dead merchandise and artwork from local artisan vendors, a performance with Mariachi Tesoro de Rebecca Gonzales, photo opportunities, a community altar installation, an authentic ritual performance from In Tlanextli Tlacopan Aztec Fire Dancers, and a 75-minute family program with nationally recognized storyteller Olga Loya, who offers her signature stories and historical insight about the holiday.

Old Mission San Luis Rey // Oceanside

More information: http://www.mslrdiadelosmuertos.com/

Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Where: 4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92057

Learn about many cultures and traditions. Free admission; parking $5 per car. Skip the traffic and take the free shuttle bus from El Camino High School on Rancho del Oro.

Old Town San Diego // San Diego

More information: http://www.dayofthedeadsd.com/index.html

Time: 11 am – 6:30 pm
This event is designed to celebrate the history, culture and heritage of the San Diego region and to pay homage to this very important and festive tradition. Old Town’s diverse and historic legacy makes it the best site in San Diego to hold this celebration.

Old Town itself takes the place of the mercado, a traditional marketplace, providing goods, entertainment, and regional foods. There will be entertainment and activities for participants of all ages to enjoy.

Downey Civic Theatre // Downey

More information: http://ddlm.downeytheatre.org/

Time: 11 am – 8 pm
Where: 435 Firestone Boulevard, Downey, California 90241
An indoor /outdoor, family friendly presentation with an approximately audience of 10,000. Come enjoy great food, amazing art, live music, ballet folklorico and more. Free admission and free parking.

Historic Downtown San Pedro // San Pedro

More information: http://sanpedrodayofthedead.com

Time: 3 pm – 9 pm
Where: 398 West 6th Street. San Pedro, California 90731
Visitors will experience a vibrant downtown filled with a festive live entertainment lineup including a performance by the Grammy Award-winning group, Mariachi Divas, an all-female mariachi band based in Los Angeles.

With freshly prepared Latin American bites, guests can sample regional Mexican fare. Face painting, children’s area, handmade jewelry, clothing and other specialty items made by artisans will be available as well. Children can experience creating a Dia de los Muertos souvenir at the free arts and crafts activity center.

Featuring uniquely designed altars at the Altars Competition and Exhibition and over 35 food and craft vendors, visitors are encouraged to come dressed in Dia de los Muertos themed costume and participate in the festivities. Entries are now being accepted for the Festival’s Amazing Altars Contest. The deadline to submit entries is October 20th. First place winners will receive $500 cash prize.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pretend City Children’s Museum // Irvine

More information: http://www.pretendcity.org/event/dia-de-los-muertos-celebration/

Time: 11 am – 3 pm
Where 29 Hubble, Irvine,CA 92618
Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos with vibrant, educational activities for the little ones. Bring a photo of your loved one to add to our special Altar and partake in the celebration!

El Pubelo de los Angeles // Los Angeles

More information: http://elpueblo.lacity.org/SightsSounds/Events/index.html

Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Where El Pueblo de los Angeles
Colorful, ancient Mexican ceremony in remembrance of departed loved ones with beautifully decorated altars, art exhibits and entertainment. Pre-Columbian Novenario procession and blessings each night at 7:00p.m. beginning Tuesday, October 25th through Wednesday, November 2nd.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall // Costa Mesa

More information: http://www.scfta.org/events/detail.aspx?id=15188

Time: 7:30 pm
Where: 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Segerstrom Center for the Arts will be the place to celebrate Dia de los Muertos as the Center comes alive with a concert featuring Perla Batalla, Quetzal, Pacifico Dance Company and La Santa Cecilia. Tickets Start at $39 The Box Office

El Pubelo de los Angeles // Los Angeles

More information: http://elpueblo.lacity.org/SightsSounds/Events/index.html

Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Where: El Pueblo de los Angeles
Colorful, ancient Mexican ceremony in remembrance of departed loved ones with beautifully decorated altars, art exhibits and entertainment. Pre-Columbian Novenario procession and blessings each night at 7:00p.m. beginning Tuesday, October 25th through Wednesday, November 2nd.

Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary // Santa Ana

More information: 714 633 1442

Time: 7 pm
Where: Waverley Chapel
Traditional bilingual service officiated by Deacon Jerry de Santos and Deacon Luis Gallardo will take place followed by a performance by Relampago Del Cielo, a Mariachi band and traditional refreshments will be provided by El Indio Tortilleria.

Bring a photo of your loved one to place at the altar and pay tribute to the memory of those who have passed.

Anaheim Cemetery // Anaheim

More information: http://occemeterydistrict.com

Time: 4 pm – 7 pm
Where: 1400 East Sycamore Street, Anaheim
Featured entertainment is Ballet Folklorico Donaji and the RHYTHMO Mariachi Kids. There is no admission charge. Free refreshments, desserts, Dia de los Muertos masks for children, marigolds and Pan de Muertos will be available while supplies last. All families are welcome, particularly those with loved ones interred in Anaheim Cemetery. Ofrendas are welcome at family grave sites.


Saturday, November 5, 2015

Downtown Santa Ana // Santa Ana

More information: http://www.nochedealtares.org/

Time: 12 pm – 10 pm
View beautifully created altars. Attendees will be entertained by cultural performances and live music. Children can get their face painted and participate in free, art workshops. Local artists will be selling their wares and local restaurants will be selling their most delicious dishes.

Mission Plaza // San Luis Obispo

More information: http://www.diadelosmuertosslo.org

Time: 10 am – 3 pm
Where: Mission Plaza, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
This festive, family-friendly has decorated altars, traditional dances, mariachi music, poets, artists and sellers, art and crafts activities, educational talks, costume and altar contests, Mexican food and beverages, decorating of sugar skulls (and more) at SLOMA, and a silent auction and raffle to benefit Wilshire Hospice patients and clients. Candlelight processions at 6pm precede the main celebration and will take place on November 2nd.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Bowers Museum // Santa Ana

More information: https://www.bowers.org/index.php/component/yendifevents/event/628-mexican-day-of-the-dead-festival

Time: 11 am – 3:30 pm
Where: Bowers Museum, 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
Free festival and museum admission.  Festival will offer cultural performances and live music. Children can get their face painted and decorate sugar skulls.

Anaheim Indoor Marketplace // Anaheim

More information: http://anaheimmarketplace.com

Time: 12 pm – 4 pm
Where: 1440 S. Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, CA. 92805
Families will be invited to place their love ones picture in a traditional Dia de Los Muertos Alter. Mariachi, folkloric dancers, kids activities and much more will be taken place.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center // Fullerton

More information: http://themuck.org/programing/2016/11/6/day-of-the-dead-festival

Time: 12 pm – 4 pm
Where: The Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833
Latino arts and crafts, altars, art workshops, food vendors and live music! Last year more than 700 people attended and enjoyed Grammy-nominated performers, regional dance groups, and festive activities.


TBD

Valley Mall // El Monte

Time: 1 – 7pm
El Monte Dia de los Muertos Family Festival. Great food, vendors and entertainment.
For more information, please call: (626) 443-0180


SUSPENDED

Rose Hills Memorial Park// Whittier

More information: http://dayofthedead-rosehills.com

Time: 11 am – 4 pm
Spend a great afternoon with family and friends in a joyful celebration with color and sounds. Enjoy an array of foods and sweets with LA’s finest eateries. There will also be a special marketplace with a variety of Dia de los Muertos arts & crafts.

2 comments on Day of the Dead Events 2016 in Southern California

  1. content
    September 19, 2014 at 6:01 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it.
    Is there anybody else getting the same RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    Reply
  2. Belinda Espinoza
    October 20, 2015 at 11:11 am (1 year ago)

    Awesome list!!! I am definitely going to Noche de Altares in Santa Ana.

    Reply

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