Dia de Los Muertos, “Day of the Dead” is an annual celebration held in downtown Los Angeles. The festival is in its 16th year, originates from Mexico and is one of its most respected holidays of the year. With Los Angeles boasting an attendance of over 5000 in Monday night’s event celebrated from October 31-November 2.
It is a grand time for families, friends and those who knew them to gather and share memories, pray and give respect to those who have passed on. The food was authentic Mexican food and the people who attended were generous and warm. Presented in partnership with Los Angeles City Council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Los Angeles City Council member, Gil Cedillo and State Assembly, member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Sr. The festive holiday celebrated encourages cultural understanding and provides a creative setting that shows the binding force of music and dance to create harmony and to promote peace and well-being. Jay McAdams the Executive Director of 24th Street Theater downtown Hoover and 24th Street shared the history of the event and all the hard work involved in the preparation. The festival to date is the largest held in LA County. McAdams explained that the associate director of the theatre who is a native of Mexico plans the event as close to the original Mexican event possible. To see the costumes and all the decorative dressing from different groups was exhilarating and brought joy even at a Dia de Los Muertos. The night was magical listening to all the music, laughter and the sharing of stories about those deceased as told by those left behind. Headlining the event was Mexican rock star, Jaime Lopez as ceremonial dancers Los Chinelos kicked off the street procession at 23rd and 25th and Hoover. Cumbia band Gabriel y Verdad, Mariachi Calilajara. Klezmer Juice nueva trova, musician/artivist Esteban Leon. Ballet folkloric Sol de Fuego. Aztec dance troupe, Huitzilopochtli. Sweet offerings of Homemade Tamales, other authentic Mexican food and cemeteries where families could offer their own prayer altars for their departed loved ones.
Free vaccinations and Covid screenings were onsite and provided by USC Kedren Hall’s USC’s Pharmacy Division.