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San Luis Obispo celebrates Dia de Los Muertos

Local high school students dance to folkloric music at the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo for a Dia de Los Muertos event. Photo by Guadalupe Angeles

Local community members gathered around San Luis Obispo Mission Plaza to learn and share the culture of Dia de Los Muertos, which is celebrated every year from October 31 – November 2.

The annual Dia de Los Muertos event commenced with a traditional processional at the main court and ended with introductions. After the introductions, local high school students proceeded the event with traditional folkloric dances. The dances varied from the different regions of Mexico.

While the folkloric dances took place, attendees experienced the Mariachi show at the street fair, located next to the Mission Plaza. The street fair included food trucks, vendors, activity booths and informational booths. At the event, the community had the opportunity to experience Mexican food, do activities such as coloring, have their faces painted like a candy skull, have a picture taken at the Dia de Los Muertos themed photo booth (where you could dress up with traditional Mexican clothing), and take a look at the different informative booths about Dia de Los Muertos.

In addition to the street fair, the San Luis Obispo Museum had activities for children to participate in. The activities consisted of candy skull making, mask making and coloring. Children also had the chance to add to the altar provided by the museum.

After the folkloric dance, those who registered for the costume contest had a chance to go on stage and talk about the meaning behind their costume.  From there, judges selected three winners in each category. 

The categories consisted of three different groups: the child contestants, the youth contestants and the adults contestants. The prices varied depending on the category, but every contestant received a certificate for participating.

The event proceed to an altar appreciation. Everyone who attended had the opportunity to walk around and enjoy the different styles of altars provided by the community. Just like the costume contest, the altar owners had a chance to talk about their altar and to whom they dedicated it to.

The final remarks of the event consisted of giving gratitude to the community collaborators, major sponsors, media sponsors and donors.