Celebrating Day of the Dead in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Published - 10/29/19 - 09:00 AM | 8004 views | 1 1 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Día de los Muertos, has been celebrated in Old Town for over a decade. COURTESY PHOTO
Día de los Muertos, has been celebrated in Old Town for over a decade. COURTESY PHOTO

Besides Halloween and fall football, another October event gaining in popularity is Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.

Over the years, the holiday traditionally celebrated in Mexico and San Diego has grown to attract people from all walks of life. This year, the Fiesta de Reyes Día de los Muertos Celebration will be held once again in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in the Fiesta de Reyes plaza Nov. 1-3.

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 Earth to celebrate with friends and family,” said Fiesta de Reyes Día de los Muertos Celebration Spokesperson Mike Simms. 

He said the tradition of celebrating the dead goes back to pre-Columbian cultures in what is now Mexico. As European influences came into play, the traditions became mixed with Christian traditions and it evolved into the celebration we have today.


What to see and do

While at the event, the state park will offer a celebration of activities and attractions for the entire family that will be a tribute to those who have passed away. From a professional artist painting a large Day of the Dead skull in the middle of the park to a public altar where visitors can place remembrances, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, there will be a vibrant Día de los Muertos parade that will proceed around the state park plaza on Saturday at 5 p.m. featuring many local groups and performers. 

Simms added 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 hold court at Fiesta de Reyes throughout the fall season.

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, has been celebrated in Old Town for more than 10 years and has become an event that people who used to come with their parents are now bringing their children to. 

The event in the state park is more than a street fair as so many other Día de los Muertos celebrations in the area have become. We embrace and celebrate the meaning of the holiday and people – especially families – are attracted to that. People of all ages and ethnicities attend. The state park event sees many families attending together with multiple generations of progeny.  

The sentiment of setting aside time to remember our ancestors and loved ones who are no longer with us with reverence and joy is very appealing. It has truly started to become an international celebration. Many cultures all over the world embrace the concept of celebrating the dead at certain times of the year, so Día de los Muertos fits into those traditions as well,” he said. 

Attendees echoed the sentiment like Robert Barros, Day of the Dead artist, who said: “We love the Day of the Dead celebration in Old Town as a place to showcase our Day of the Dead art. It’s a refreshing break from the wild street-fair environment of most events around the holiday. The focus on tradition, remembering the dead and art has us choose this event every year.” 

Eric Minella, manager of Historic Interpretation at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park said, “I’ve been creating altars and larger-than-life public displays for Día de los Muertos in Fiesta de Reyes and Old Town for more than 10 years. It has been a joy to watch the celebration grow in popularity each year because the sentiment behind it is so touching – and I think it’s important for kids and families to embrace.” 

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.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 06, 2019
This is my testimony about the good work of Prophet Abulele who helped me.... I'm ELIZABETH from Arizona, UNITED STATE. And I am sorry for putting this on internet but I will have to because I want people to know this great spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 6 years, I eventually melt this man on a blog site posting by one of his client that he helped, I explained everything to him and he told me about Prophet Abulele the spell caster that he had encounter with and he gave me an email address -prophetabulelehealingtemple@gmail.com and I wrote to the spell caster and told him my problems. In just 3 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster called Prophet Abulele, sir all you told me has come to pass and thank you sir. Please I want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to his or her problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real, he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is- prophetabulelehealingtemple@gmail.com or directly on whats App him 2349022406159
Comments are back! Simply post the comment (it'll complain about you failing the human test) then simply click on the captcha and then click "Post Comment" again. Comments are also welcome on our Facebook page.