Performers lead a procession in the 6th annual Dia de los Muertos PHX festival at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix.
Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday that honors loved ones who have passed away.
It brings the community together and pays respects to loved ones, both friends and family. Día de los Muertos is a celebration of life, and the events in Arizona incorporate many of the traditions, including processions, displaying altars, and showcasing the calaca with sugar skulls, skeleton masks and sculptures.
Here are some of the Dia de los Muertos celebrations, festivals and ceremonies throughout Phoenix and the rest of the state.
10/26: Movie Night: Coco
Get ready to celebrate Dia de los Muertos with the family and see the Pixar animated movie “Coco.” Come prepared with a chair and some snacks too, as the screening begins at sunset.
Details: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, October 26. Friendship Park, 12325 W. McDowell Road, Avondale. avondale.gov.
10/26-27: Ofrenda Exhibit at Desert Botanical Garden
A key aspect of Dia de los Muertos is the ofrenda set up to pay respects with pictures, favorite food and drinks, and additional decorations. The garden exhibit’s theme, in its 15th year, will have 12 altars from local artists.
Details: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26-27. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Free with paid garden admission. $24.95; $12.95 for ages 3-12; free for members and age 3 or younger. 480-481-8188, dbg.org.
10/26-11/4: Day of the Dead Exhibit
As a part of Dia de los Muertos festivities, the museum displays the creative work of local students at Wickenburg High School. Exhibit attendees are encouraged to leave a memento at the ofrenda.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 26-27 and Oct. 29- Nov. 3; Noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4. Desert Caballeros Western Museum, 21 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg. $12; $10 for seniors and free for children 17 or younger. 928-684-2272, westernmuseum.org.
10/27: 10th Annual Dia de los Muertos
The celebration will be held at the cemetery for people to pay respects to loved ones and become involved with the traditional aspects of the holiday.
Details: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, October 27. Goodyear Farms Historic Cemetery, 3720 N. Santa Fe Trail, Avondale. avondale.gov.
10/27-28: Dia de los Muertos Festival at Mesa Arts Center
This festival to celebrate Day of the Dead has live music and performances, several altars for everybody to view and vendors.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. Free. 480-644-6500, mesaartscenter.com/diadelosmuertos.
10/28: Dia de los Muertos PHX Festival
The return of the festival signals the return of family-friendly fun that celebrates the lives of family and friends. There will be bands, dancers and cultural figures throughout the event. Kids can participate in sugar-skull decorating and leave something on the community altar.
Details: 2-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Free. diadelosmuertosphx.com.
PHOTOS OF DIA DE LOS MUERTOS PHX FESTIVAL:
11/4: Dìa de los Muertos festival
The fifth annual event at St. Mary’s Basilica is anticipating 10,000 festivalgoers. It features local artists, food trucks and more.
Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. St. Mary’s Basilica Plaza, 231 N. Third St., Phoenix. Free; canned food donation suggested. 480-833-5875 or 602-354-2100, saintmarysbasilica.org.
PHOTOS OF DIA DE LOS MUERTOS FESTIVAL AT ST. MARY’S:
11/4-5: Dia de los Muertos celebration and La Procesión
Embrace the different aspects of the holiday and join the Desert Botanical Garden in its celebration. There will be a mercado, live performances and kid-friendly activities. At the end of the celebration, there will be La Procesión, or the procession, in the garden.
Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 3-4. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Free with paid garden admission. $24.95; $12.95 for ages 3-12; free for members and age 3 or younger. 480-941-1225, dbg.org.
10/27: Feast With the Dearly Departed in Tucson
As the Day of the Dead approaches, there will be an ofrenda set up to place frames or other important mementos. The family-friendly event will include music, food and more.
Details: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tuscon. $15 for adults; $8 for adult members; $8 for children; $4 for child members. Free for kids 3 and younger. 520-326-9686, tucsonbotanical.org.
11/2-3: Chiles, Chocolates and Day of the Dead
If the name of the event didn’t peak your interest, then be sure to stop by to see the festivities for yourself. The festivities include chocolate and chiles, of course, as well as face-painting for the kids.
Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3. Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, Tucson. $15 general admission, $5 for members. Free for kids 12 and younger. 520-742-6455, tohonochulpark.org.
11/3: Dia de los Muertos celebration at Tlaquepaque
The seventh annual event features fire dancing and a traditional ofrenda for the community to contribute to. The celebration features music and food.
Details: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. 336 State Route 179, Sedona. Free. 928-282-4838, visitsedona.com.
11/2-4: All Souls Procession weekend in Tucson
This weekendlong event has everything you could possibly want to celebrate your family and friends. This year’s theme is “Sky Islands,” so expect plenty of interesting costumes and masks throughout the weekend. There is also a procession that includes a large urn and a march expected to have 100,000 people.
Details: Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2-4. Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento,
Tucson. Procession marchers gather at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 at LOCATION TBD. Free. allsoulsprocession.org.
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