The community can celebrate the memory of departed loved ones with the 17th annual Día de los Muertos Festival 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 22-23 at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St.
There is no charge to attend the Día de los Muertos Festival and parking is free.
Councilmember David Luna will kick off the free festival at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. On Sunday, Oct. 23, the closing ceremony at 4:30 p.m. will include Jorge Mendoza Yescas, consul general of Mexico, and Mesa Mayor John Giles, according to a release.
The nationally recognized, award-winning free community festival will offer a nonstop schedule of live entertainment, hands-on artmaking activities, traditional face painting, a wide variety of food options, studio demonstrations, and a vibrant Mercado Marketplace, featuring traditional and contemporary merchandise, jewelry, and Mexican arts and crafts from local artisans and vendors.
Mesa Arts Center’s art studios will offer free demonstrations throughout the festival. The Store, an artist’s cooperative and gallery, will also be open and offering Day of the Dead themed items.
In the spirit of traditional Día de los Muertos festivities, a community altar designed by local artist Luis Estrada will be the centerpiece for the festival, where attendees can leave mementos in honor of their loved ones who have passed. Photographs will be collected and replaced on the altar each year or can be collected by 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.
The festival will culminate in a performance and an open procession to the Community Altar led by the all-female group, Mariachi Pasion and Ballet Folklorico La Llorona at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.
The National League of Cities selected the city of Mesa’s Día de los Muertos festival as the 2022 Cultural Diversity Awards winner.
SRP is the presenting sponsor of the Día de los Muertos Festival. Additional festival support is provided by the city of Mesa, Consulate General of Mexico, Crescent Crown Distributing, First Things First, Food City, Celerion, Larry H. Miller Ford Mesa, Modelo, 93.3 Alt AZ, 100.7 KSLX, Oscar and Phoenix New Times.
For information, go to MesaArtsCenter.com.