SAN YSIDRO–The drums begin their rhythmic music, powerful and life giving, the heartbeat of the celebration kicks off and the Aztec dancers emerge as if from a different time and place, feathers grazing the wind and the sound of the conch initiates the blessing for the night. It’s Dia de Los Muertos, and on this night, San Ysidro, the Southwestern most town in the USA knows just how to celebrate it.
Casa Familiar, San Ysidro’s leading Social Services and Community Development organization has been hosting the Day of the Dead celebration for over 15 years. What started out as a few community members gathering to create an altar, has now become one of the biggest Day of the Dead celebrations in San Diego. With traditional dance performances, music, free hot chocolate and “pan de Muertos” (a traditional cinnamon flavored bread) for all guests, food, an altar/offerings exhibit, and the opportunity for the community to bring their own mementos to add to the community altar. The celebration now is attended by hundreds and more are expected this year.
This year, the event will incorporate a marketplace with popular arts and crafts vendors, an art exhibit and a calavera contest that is sure to be a crowd favorite.
A special treat this year is the unveiling of San Diego-based artist Roberto Salas’ public art project.
THE FRONT: A Collaborative of Art, Culture, Design & Urbanism titled Los Rosarios de Doña Rosa Rios has created a collaborative public art project. The project consist of 25 nichos built and placed throughout the San Ysidro community meant to function as ofrendas where the community can leave their own rosaries and prayers. On Monday Nov. 1, these nichos will be placed throughout the community park where the community can both see and partake in the project by contributing their own offerings.
The free family event runs 4 to 8 p.m., Nov. 1 at the San Ysidro Civic Center 212 W. Park Avenue in San Ysidro. This event will held indoors.