5 spirited events throughout Sacramento to mark Day of the Dead

Img 7755elpanteon
Photo by Andres Alvarez
The Sacramento Latino Center of Art and Culture celebrates Day of the Dead.

With Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, coming up Nov. 1-2, families and communities are getting ready to build altars filled with candles, photos and food to honor lost loved ones, and celebrate life through music and dance. Here are five events that will help you get into the "spirits" of things for the Mexican holiday.

Day of the Dead Party

Oct. 14 The California Museum is planning a fiesta in mid-October featuring a costume contest, authentic Mexican cuisine from downtown’s Tequila Museo Mayahuel, live music and performances from the likes of the Maquilli Tonatiuh Aztec Dancers. The Day of the Dead Party will kick off an exhibit to showcase art and altars by Chicano artists across California, including Sacramento-based artists John S. Huerta and Rob-O, the latter of whom will host a sugar skull workshop Oct. 29 at the museum, offering the public a chance to decorate their own sugar skulls with instruction from the artist. Event $10 in advance; $20 at the door. 6-10 p.m. Workshop $20. Oct. 29-30. 1020 O St. 653-7524. californiamuseum.org

Día de los Muertos Celebration

Oct. 23 The Davis Cemetery will host a community-driven art show and altar event for this year’s Día de los Muertos holiday. Bring a picnic blanket and spread out in the graveyard while watching performances and snacking on traditional Mexican treats like creamy hot chocolate and sweet pan dulce. Musical acts like Mariachi Puente and David Campos of the Davis Latin American reggae group Zapato Viejo will set the celebratory mood, while a collective altar dedicated to poet Francisco X. Alarcón will honor the late Davis resident, who was the winner of the American Book Award in 1993 and who passed away in January. Attendees are encouraged to bring personal effects honoring their relatives and place them at the community altar. Free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 820 Pole Line Rd. Davis. 530-756-7807. daviscemetery.org

Local sugar skull artist Rob-O, whose work is shown here, will teach a class at the California Museum Oct. 29.

El Panteón de Sacramento

Oct. 29-30 The Sacramento Latino Center of Art and Culture will honor Día de los Muertos with its 7th annual el panteón (the name refers to a cemetery in the Spanish language). The two-day event will host local artists selling handmade Mexican art, including silver jewelry, beaded necklaces and hand-painted glassware, along with paintings and sculptures of traditional sugar skulls. Individuals and families can reserve one of 40 altars to set up photos, candles, paintings and food in honor of their loved ones. The Center will also display a community altar to recognize Juan Gabriel, a popular Mexican singer-songwriter who died in August. Free. Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m; Sun. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 2020 J St. 446-5133. lgrp.org

Día de los Muertos Oak Park

Nov. 2 This inaugural festival will feature a month of community workshops and art lessons, culminating in a final celebration at The Brickhouse Gallery & Art Complex on Nov. 2. Events in October include a seminar about the history of Día de los Muertos on Oct. 12 at Broadway Coffee, a calaveras (Spanish for skull) painting workshop at Patris Studio and Art Gallery on 2nd Avenue on Oct. 20 and an interactive sugar skull workshop for kids lead by Rob-O at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services on Oct. 26. The Nov. 2 gathering will include personal and family altar spaces, art installations and food tents and trucks like Yolanda’s Tamales and Masa Taco Kitchen. Prices, times and locations vary for events. Festival: Free. 5-9 p.m. 2837 36th St. 905-3229. dayofthedeadop.com

Souls of the City: Día de los Muertos in Old Sacramento

Nov. 5 For a fifth year, the Sacramento History Museum and Sol Collective will pay tribute to the deceased throughout October with altar decorating, mask painting and printmaking workshops lead by local artists like Xico González and Luis R. Campos-Garcia. The month of classes will conclude with a community-focused party in November on the streets of Old Sacramento, including performances by Aztec dancers, pop-up art exhibits featuring painted masks and sugar skulls, face-painting, interactive community altars and family games. Free. 6-10 p.m. Sacramento History Museum. 101 I St. 808-7059. historicoldsac.org

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