Looking Back on Día de Los Muertos 2023: A Celebration to Remember

As the sun sets on another remarkable Día de Los Muertos celebration in Old Town San Diego, we can’t help but reflect on the magic, culture, and unity that illuminated our historic streets. Over the course of three unforgettable days—October 28, October 29, and November 2—thousands of visitors and locals came together to honor this cherished tradition.

A Weekend to Remember: October 28 & 29

The Día de Los Muertos Weekend Mercado was a true showcase of artistry and craftsmanship. Local artisans displayed their talent, offering handmade treasures that captivated our senses. Families, friends, and curious souls roamed the streets, exploring a world of culture and creativity.

Exploring the Historic Park: Art, Workshops, and Live Art

Throughout the weekend, the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park came alive with color and tradition. Altares de muertos, lovingly crafted by local artists, paid homage to influential Old Town citizens. Hands-on activities engaged the young and young at heart, while sugar skull painting workshops allowed us to unleash our inner artists. In the Plaza de Armas, San Diego artists transformed the grounds into a fabulous artists’ studio, celebrating the diverse communities that shaped Old Town.

A Special Screening of “Coco”

Under the starry sky of the Plaza de Armas, families and friends gathered for a heartwarming cinematic experience—a free community screening of Disney Pixar’s “Coco.” The film beautifully encapsulated the essence of Día de Los Muertos, reminding us of the importance of family, memory, and love.

The Grand Finale: November 2, The Candlelit Procession

The Candlelit Procession on November 2 was the crowning jewel of our celebration. As the sun dipped below the horizon, San Diego Avenue filled with eager participants, their candles casting a warm and gentle glow. The procession, led by Danza Azteca Atlachinolli and accompanied by the enchanting Mariachi Los Toritos de San Diego, made its way through the historic streets. It was a moving tribute to those we’ve lost and a celebration of the enduring spirit of Día de Los Muertos.

Thank You to Our Volunteers and Sponsors

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated volunteers who poured their hearts and time into making this celebration a reality. We extend our deepest gratitude to our major sponsors, including Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, Casa Guadalajara, Bazaar del Mundo, Café Coyote, Casa de Freds, The Whaley House Museum, Old Town Trolley Tours, California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Arts Council, San Diego Public Library, and the City of San Diego Arts & Culture Commission. Your support made this celebration shine.

A Tradition of Unity and Remembrance

Día de Los Muertos in Old Town San Diego has always been about unity, remembrance, and celebration. It’s an event that brings together people from all walks of life to honor the past, embrace the present, and look forward to the future. The memories we’ve created and the connections we’ve forged during this celebration will stay with us, reminding us of the enduring beauty of this tradition.

We look forward to welcoming you back next year for another incredible Día de Los Muertos celebration in Old Town San Diego. Until then, may the spirit of this vibrant and culturally rich tradition live on in our hearts.