San Antonio's Day of the Dead is largest in the USA
A colorful Dia de Muertos parade at the historic Pearl brewery district.

New Events Make San Antonio's Day of the Dead Celebration Largest in the U.S.

San Antonio is renowned for its lively atmosphere and colorful cultural events. This year, the city's Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities are hitting an all-time high as new offerings join dozens of annual events, creating the largest celebration of the holiday in the U.S.

Dating back to pre-Columbian times, Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican holiday when people celebrate their deceased loved ones. Participants create festive altars adorned with photographs, food and other gifts associated with the holiday such as marigolds, incense, and candles to honor those who have passed. It's said that on November 1st and 2nd, the distance between the living and the dead is at its closest point creating a special moment to share memories and send wishes to dearly departed family and friends.

Taking place October 26th through November 3rd, San Antonio's festivities include events big and small, some going back more than 40 years, with traditional altars, live music, Mexican cuisine and parades, many of which are family friendly and free and open to the public. Restaurants, cafes and cultural institutions across the city will showcase altars, customary decor and fresh-baked pan de muerto, a sweet bread that's a traditional offering.

Dia de Los Muertos: October 26th and 27th

For its seventh year, this celebration, also known as Muertos Fest, has expanded to a new location at Hemisfair in the heart of downtown. The free, family-friendly event features the largest open altar exhibition in the city along with live music on two stages, original Day of the Dead art, a drum and puppet procession, poetry readings and more. The fest was named one of the 10 Great Day of the Dead Celebrations by USA Today and the second best Día de Muertos Celebration in the country by

Day of the Dead San Antonio: November 1st through 3rd

The historic La Villita neighborhood serves as home to the new celebration. The three-day program includes artistic displays, activities for children, musical performances, gastronomical treats, a beer garden, Spirits Bar, dancing and opportunities to learn about the historic and cultural importance of the celebration.

Catrineras on the River: November 1st)

The kick-off to Day of the Dead San Antonio will dress the city's famous river barges in the colorful hallmarks of the holiday for a floating parade down the River Walk. The parade ends with a performance of La Danza de Las Mojigangas at the Arneson River Theatre.

Celebrating Life 5 Run-Walk: November 2nd

Participants receive a race kit including a skeleton t-shirt, water bottle and finisher medal. Runners also will have the opportunity to get their faces painted by a team of makeup artists pre-race.

The Witte Museum's Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids: September 28th through January 12th

Part of this exhibition, which explores the science and history of the world's most popular imaginary creatures, will include a section on Alebrijes, brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of mythical creatures. From October 22nd to November 16th.

Mexicraneos Street: October 15th through November 15th

A series of sculptural skulls encompass a street art exhibition along Houston Street and around the new Frost Bank building in downtown San Antonio.

Pearl Park: November 1st and 2nd

Pearl Park will be transformed for its elaborate Dia de Muertos celebration with altars throughout the property, live music, a procession and children's crafts. Hotel Emma and other Pearl businesses will join in the festivities with ornate altars and original programming.

Muertitos Fest: November 1st and 2nd

SAY Si, a creative youth development organization, curates one of the city's comprehensive Dia de Muertos celebrations. This year's theme is Mestizo and will reflect the convergence of cultures and indigenous roots of the region.

Huarache Turbo Night Run: October 26th

This 5K fun run takes place around Dia de Muertos each year, with a prize going to the best costume. The fiesta kicks off once the last runner finishes.

To learn more, go to San Antonio Dia de Los Muertos.

Photo courtesy of Visit San Antonio
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September 23, 2019

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