Organizations across San Antonio are celebrating Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, offering residents and visitors a chance to pay tribute and remember loved ones lost over the years. Here's a sample of the special events taking place throughout the city leading up to Día de los Muertos, which is celebrated November 1-2.
Día de los Muertos at Hemisfair
Named one of the United States' Seven Best Fall Festivals by National Geographic, Hemisfair's Día de los Muertos celebration is now in its 10th year and includes two days of activities. The events include a fashion show featuring local designer Agosto Cuellar; a multi-band live music bill headlined by East LA rockers Los Lobos; a procession; poetry readings; workshops; food and vendor booths — and, of course, the display of homemade altars. Attendees are invited to submit photos to be included on the ofrenda of a community altar. In addition to Grammy-winning Los Lobos, other featured musical acts include Azul, Eddie & the Valiants, Piñata Protest and Santiago Jiménez Jr. Poets include Amalia Ortiz, Anthony the Poet, Tomas Castillo-Roque, Eddie Vega and Victoria Fennell. The festival will be broadcast from 8-10 p.m. Oct. 30 on KSAT and KSAT.com. Free, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, noon-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, Hemisfair, 630 Nueva St., muertosfest.com.
Spiritlandia Day of the Dead Festival
Concerts, dance performances, culinary events and folk art are all part of Spiritlandia, scheduled for Oct. 27-30. "Embracing 3,000-plus years of rich cultural traditions, San Antonio's Day of the Dead celebration is the largest in the USA, attracting more than 300,000 locals and visitors alike," festival founder and chef Johnny Hernandez said in a press statement. "San Antonio is proud to be the nation's definitive Day of the Dead destination. Each year, it gets bigger and better." This year, the event will include San Antonio's fourth annual Day of the Dead River Parade ($25-$50, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27). The parade will be the first nationally televised Day of the Dead event in the U.S. when it streams Nov. 1 on Peacock, according to organizers. Access Hollywood's Mario Lopez is scheduled to host. Prices and times vary, Thursday, Oct. 27-Sunday, Oct. 30, La Villita, 418 Villita St., (210) 207-8614, dayofthedeadsa.com.
2022 Día de los Muertos: Celebrando Las Misiones
Hosted by the City of San Antonio's World Heritage Office, the fifth annual Celebrando Las Misiones will begin at the Mission San Jose Granary at 2 p.m. with the presentation of altars for the descendants of mission families. The event will include educational workshops and a native dance and drum procession leading participants to Mission Marquee Plaza. A native blessing of community altars will take place once the procession reaches the plaza, and participants will be able to take in music by Joe Posada, Volcán, Chayito y Los Flamenco de San Antonio and Mariachi Azteca De América. A spoken word performance by poet and artist Amalia Ortiz and dance presentations by Ballet Folklorico Sol de San Antonio and Zombie Bazaar are also planned for the gathering, this year themed around "The Cycle of Life and Death." Don't forget to stay for interactive workshops, face painting, artisan vendors, food trucks and a screening of the celebrated 2014 animated film The Book of Life. Free, 3-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, Mission Marquee Plaza, 3100 Roosevelt Ave., (210) 207-2111, missionmarquee.com.
Ballet Nepantla: Mística
New York City-based dance company Ballet Nepantla, co-founded by South Texas native Andrea Guajardo, will premiere its latest production, Mística, in San Antonio. The ballet honors Latino ancestors and Día de los Muertos through exceptional dance choreography, including a combination of Mexican folklórico, classical ballet and contemporary dance. Mística tells stories with variations on dances such as El Venado, Viejitos and others. "This production was created as a tribute to the lives lost during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic," Guajardo said in a press release. "Creating the show during the pandemic brought many challenges but it was all worth it." $35, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry St., (210) 207-7211, thecarver.org.
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