When: Sun., Nov. 1 and Mon., Nov. 2 2015
Offering a reflective counterpoint to the ghosts, goblins and zombies that haunt Halloween, the pre-Columbian tradition of Día de los Muertos pokes fun at death with folkloric fanfare while celebrating the dearly departed with altars both reverent and whimsical. An increasingly popular observance in the Alamo City, Día de los Muertos takes shape this year in everything from readings and exhibits to concerts and fireworks. Moonlighting as Carnaval de los Muertos, the drummers and dancers of URBAN-15’s Carnaval de San Anto rise to the occasion by parading through Hemisfair Park dressed as skeletal characters reminiscent of La Catrina and others made famous by iconic Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (free, 7:30pm Sun, Instituto Cultural de México, 600 Hemisfair Plaza). Music and poetry combine in the heart of the West Side courtesy of the Esperanza’s kid-friendly affair featuring performances by Los Olvidados, Las Tesoros de San Antonio and Azul, and readings of literary ofrendas and calavera poems to be enjoyed with tamales, pan de muerto and hot chocolate (free, 3-9pm Sun, 816 S. Colorado St.). Touted as the “biggest and oldest Día de los Muertos celebration in San Antonio,” Centro Cultural Aztlán’s “Altares y Ofrendas” exhibit rounds up dozens of local artists for an eclectic installation of altars (adorned with marigolds, incense, keepsakes and food favored by lost loved ones), an “Avenida de los Artesanos” stocked with handcrafted wares, and a performance by Carnaval de los Muertos ($3 suggested donation, 6-9pm Mon, 1800 Fredericksburg Road). Encouraging attendees to “pray for the dead” and “fight like hell for the living,” Texas smoke shop Planet K rings in the holiday with a car and bicycle show, food trucks and face painting in Woodlawn Lake before lighting up the sky with fireworks (free, parade at 6pm, fireworks at 8:30pm Mon, 1103 Cincinnati Ave.).
Price: Free unless otherwise noted