2023 Día de Los Muertos Celebration to Light Up Old Town

Old Town San Diego is proud to announce its annual Día de Los Muertos celebration, a vibrant and culturally rich event that draws thousands of visitors each year. This year’s festivities promise to be more enchanting than ever before, with a lineup of exciting activities and traditions that will captivate visitors of all ages.

Annual Procession:

The centerpiece of our celebration, the traditional candlelit procession, will take place on Thursday, November 2, 2023. This free event, which has become a cherished tradition in our community, will commence at sundown in front of the Immaculate Conception Church, situated at the intersection of San Diego Ave and Twiggs St. The procession will wind its way down San Diego Ave to El Campo Santo, marking the beginning of this memorable evening. Join us for this awe-inspiring event with the kickoff at 6:15pm.

Weekend Mercado:

Prepare to be amazed at our Weekend Mercado, where you can shop for incredible art and crafts on Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29, 2023. This two-day extravaganza will be held along San Diego Avenue and Harney Street, offering visitors a unique shopping experience. Families can also enjoy a variety of activities throughout the weekend. Market hours are as follows: Saturday from 10am to 5:30pm and Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park:

Throughout the weekend, visitors are invited to explore our historic museums, showcasing altares de muertos (altars of the dead) created by local artists in honor of influential Old Town citizens. Engage in hands-on activities and sign up for a sugar skull painting workshop (additional material fee apply). In the Plaza de Las Armas, San Diego artists will create chalk art celebrating the diverse communities that have shaped Old Town throughout the centuries.

We encourage visitors to honor their loved ones by contributing their names to the Community Altar located in the Plaza de Las Armas. This project is made possible through the State of California’s Arts in Parks program, a partnership between the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the California Arts Council. Join us on Saturday, October 28, from 11am to 9pm, and Sunday, October 29, from 11am to 5pm, for a journey through history and art.

Special Screening of “Coco”:

The San Diego Public Library is delighted to present a free community screening of Disney Pixar’s beloved film “Coco” in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park’s Plaza de Las Armas on Saturday, October 28, at 7pm. Gather with friends and family for a heartwarming cinematic experience under the stars.

“La Experiencia” at Fiesta de Reyes:

Visit Fiesta de Reyes from October 1 through November 2 to enjoy the wonder of La Experiencia! Featuring professional face painters, captivating art demonstrations, live entertainment, and both traditional and contemporary altars on display. Wander through this charming plaza in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on Thursday through Sunday for live mariachi music and beautiful folklorico dancers.

Transportation and Parking:

To minimize traffic congestion, we encourage attendees to utilize public transit or rideshare services. The Old Town station is conveniently served by several MTS bus lines, as well as the Blue & Green trolley lines. Ample free parking is available throughout Old Town and the State Historic Park. Overflow parking can be found at the Caltrans lot located at Sunset St & Taylor Street after 5 pm on Friday and all day Saturday & Sunday.

Join us in celebrating the Día de Los Muertos, a time-honored tradition that unites our community in remembrance and celebration. We look forward to sharing this magical experience with you on November 2, 2023, and the exciting events leading up to it from October 28 to 29, 2023. This vibrant celebration is made possible by the dedication and support of our community and the many talented artists who contribute their creative spirit.

For more information, visit www.oldtownsandiego.org/ddlm.