While many look forward to the end of October to celebrate Halloween, those in the Latino community have another holiday to get excited over – Day of the Dead, otherwise known as Día de los Muertos.
Usually observed on Nov. 1 and 2, there will be multiple festivals and events in the Northeast San Fernando Valley celebrating the holiday both in October and November. And one that’s upcoming this weekend is taking place in the City of San Fernando.
On Oct. 28, Day of the Dead altars will be gathered near artisan and food vendors over on Maclay and Third Street. The event will begin at 11 a.m. But that won’t be all. Starting earlier in the day is the San Fernando Valley Mile, where runners of all ages and athleticism are encouraged to participate.
There will be four different one-mile runs, each with their own time limit: the elite run at 8:30 a.m. for under six minutes, the perfect mile run at 8:45 a.m. for under 20 minutes, the family mile walk/run at 9 a.m. for an hour and lastly the tot run for children ages 3 to 5 is at 10 a.m. to be finished in five minutes. The starting point will be at Maclay and Eighth Street.
But this isn’t the only Day of the Dead event taking place that day. Just over two miles away, beginning around noon, you can find another celebration at Pacoima City Hall. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez is expected to be at this event as you take in the community altars, food trucks and live music.
If you’re looking to celebrate Day of the Dead on the day itself, then you’re in luck. San Fernando High School (SFHS) is holding its own festival for the second time. Two stages, named after Ritchie Valens and Frida Kahlo, will be set up for the several performances planned for the event, including one from the SFHS choir, an orchestra from Porter Middle School and folklorico dancers from Gridley Elementary, SFHS and Palms Middle schools.
Furthermore, attendees can expect to see an abundance of traditional mariachi and other regional Mexican music performed by students from SFHS, Haddon Elementary and Mariachi Tesoro de San Fernando. That’s all on top of the traditional altars and food that will be available at this free event, which opens at 2:30 p.m.
Last but not least, you can celebrate Día de los Muertos Nov. 4 at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery. The Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is inviting community members to build altars dedicated to their deceased loved ones.
The free event begins at 10:30 a.m., beginning with a blessing of altars at noon and then a celebration for the whole family, which will include vendors, folklorico dancers, live music, an art exhibit and activities for children.
To register for the San Fernando Valley Mile, go to https://raceroster.com/events/2023/79862/san-fernando-valley-mile. If you want to build an altar for a loved one in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery, call (844) 286-6041 or visit https://catholiccm.org/diadelosmuertos.