By Sunny Lee
The annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) will be celebrated Nov. 1–4 in Old Town. This free event will include the traditional candlelight procession on Nov. 2 starting at 6 p.m., beginning at the entrance of the Old Town State Historic Park, located at San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street. The procession will travel down San Diego Avenue to El Campo Santo Cemetery.
Many restaurants, businesses, museums and shops will be creating more than 50 traditional and contemporary Dia de los Muertos altars. Unique altars will honor historic Old Town figures, as well as more current stories. A public altar will be located in El Campo cemetery where visitors are encouraged to add their own mementos, photos and written tributes to loved ones.
Originating in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a celebration to remember and honor those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the streets near cemeteries are filled with decorations, flowers, candy calaveras and parades. Mexican families create special altars displaying offerings of food, candles, incense, ochre yellow marigolds and photos of departed loved ones.
The celebration will continue throughout the weekend with street food, vendors and activities on San Diego Avenue. Many Old Town restaurants will be providing special Dia de los Muertos menus and live music, along with activities for the entire family, including traditional face painting, mask making and many more. For more information about Dia de los Muertos in Old Town, contact the Old Town Chamber of Commerce at 619-291-4903 or visit OldTownSanDiego.org
—Sunny Lee is executive director of the Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.