Where to Celebrate Día de los Muertos Throughout California

Honoring the departed with vivid color, music and memories.

Traditionally celebrated the first two days of November, Día del los Muertos, or Day of Dead, honors the memory of family and friends with personalized altars, sugar skulls and beautiful costumes. California’s Mexican communities give the holiday a special vibrance here in the Golden State. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate this year, check out some of these offering from SoCal to NorCal:

Los Angeles

October 30


Carrera De Los Muertos 5k

Sign up for a 5k run/walk celebrating Day of the Dead. Tour historic Olvera Street and enjoy music along the course, beautiful finisher medals and a post-race Día de los Muertos celebration. Everyone is welcome.

Register at losmuertos5k.com/events/los-angeles


October 30


The 22nd Annual Día de los Muertos Festival  |  Hollywood Forever

This popular event returns with daytime and evening events: “Dia de los Muertos” & “Noche de los Muertos.” These two separate ticketed events allow guests to experience a more intimate look at this year’s theme: The Return of Quetzalcoatl.



Through November 7


Espíritus Creativos de California 

Celebrating the state’s spirit of creativity, Day of the Dead 2021: Creative Spirits of California honors innovative Californians Eazy-E, Carrie Fisher, Ishi, Charles M. Schulz and John Steinbeck through original works by California artists Roberta AlvaradoFrancisco Franco, John Hancock and Juan Ramos of John Juan ArtJohn S. Huerta and Rob-O of I Love Sugar Skulls.



San Diego

October 30 & November 2


Mercado del Arte & Procesíon to the Cemetery

Old Town San Diego’s Day of the Dead Festivities begin with a marketplace and conclude with the traditional walk to the El Campo Santo cemetery and public altar.


San Francisco

Through Nov 5


Dreams Emerging, Beyond Resilience: Día de Los Muertos 2021••|••SOMAarts

Now in its 22nd year, SOMArts’ annual Día de Los Muertos exhibition is one of the most internationally diverse Day of the Dead celebrations in the United States.Founded by beloved San Francisco artist and curator René Yañez, Día de Los Muertos at SOMArts merges traditional altars with contemporary installations, continuing to be a multigenerational gathering of remembrance while affirming the importance of arts & culture in shaping our worlds.



San Jose

October 23


Community Day: Día del los Muertos••|••San Jose Museum of Art

Celebrate Día de los Muertos with live entertainment, cultural demonstrations and an eclectic mix of artmaking experiences. Gather your family and friends for this annual fest. Join the streaming event as they collaborate with local artists, partners and organizations for this truly intracultural event.

Free, but reservations required at sjmusart.org

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