Oakdale Memorial Park will host its inaugural Dia de los Muertos Cultural Festival Sunday, Nov. 4 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday which gathers families and friends to pray for deceased loved ones and celebrate their lives. The actual holiday falls on Nov. 1, and usually includes private altars for the deceased and festive visitations to the cemetery.
But while some participants may paint their faces like skeletons or decorate with altars with sugar skulls and skeleton dolls, Victoria Portugal, event publicist of Oakdale’s Dia de los Muertos, said the holiday is more of a celebration of life rather than focusing on the spooky aspects.
“Families will create altars for their loved ones and put things like their favorite foods, items and photos, all in hopes that their loved ones will be there in spirit,” said Portugal.
The free event is open to the public and will include arts and crafts for children, food trucks, vendors selling Day of the Dead jewelry and art, Mariachi music, and performances by ballet folklorico and Aztec dance groups. Featured Mexican-born artist Hector Silva will exhibit some of his work.
The community is also invited to enter in an altar contest.
For more information, visit www.dayofthedead-oakdale.com.