Encinitas Friends of the Arts (EFA) and the City of Encinitas announce the 5th annual Encinitas Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The free festival takes place on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center. Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear will make welcoming remarks. “This city event raises awareness and an appreciation for this significant Latino cultural celebration,” said Mayor Blakespear. “Last year’s event drew several thousand people and we anticipate a larger response this year.”

The family-friendly celebration will include continuous performances. Danza Azteca Misión San Luis Rey will bless the Ofrenda with ancient traditional dances, followed by Mariachi Real de San Diego, Ballet Folklorico Rancho Buena Vista High School, Danza Alegre, Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, and Ballet Folklorico de San Dieguito. The festival ends with singer Rafael Renteria performing songs from the film Coco, with dancing by Ballet Folklorico El Tapatio. Festival activities include skull face painting, tissue flowers and sugar skull workshops, a Day of the Dead art exhibit by Paul Ecke Central School students, and ladies dressed as “Catrinas” for selfie photos. Outside will be a low rider car show by the Callejeros de Encinitas Car Club, artist demonstrations, vendors, and food trucks.

A Community Ofrenda (remembrance altar) will feature a replica of the Surfing Madonna by artist Mark Patterson. “Having the Surfing Madonna in the Ofrenda makes this a uniquely Encinitas event,” said Arts Program Administrator Jim Gilliam.  All are invited to honor the memory of a loved one or friend by contributing a photograph or non-valuable remembrance to the Ofrenda.

The Community Ofrenda will be on view from Oct. 25 through Nov. 5 in the lobby of the Encinitas Library, along with a Day of the Dead student exhibit or artwork and altars. “We’re excited to expand our Day of the Dead week at the library and look forward to the altars that teens and families will make,” said Teen Librarian Diana Minuzzi. The library will host the free Altar Workshop for teens and families on Thursday, Oct. 18 and 25, at 5 p.m., and a free Death Café Workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 p.m. “People come together in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea, and eat delicious cake,” said Minuzzi. “The objective is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”

Beatriz Villarreal, Program Director of the Mano a Mano Foundation, will emcee the Day of the Dead festival. “This is a huge deal for the Latino community,” said Dr. Villarreal. “Dia de los Muertos provides people with the opportunity to rejoice in the living memories of their loved ones. It is an important way to celebrate our culture and serves as an educational resource, teaching people around the world about our traditions.” Día de los Muertos, a celebration of life and remembrance, is traditionally celebrated each year on Nov. 1 and 2.

For a schedule of events or for more information please visit www.EncinitasArts.org, or call 760-633-2746.