Día de los Muertos 2019 | East Bay

Fruitvale Día de los Muertos Festival returns on Saturday, November 2 to the Fruitvale District. Photo courtesy of The Unity Council

Spirits will come alive in the streets alongside elaborate skeleton face paint, vibrant costumes, and marigold-laden altars (“ofrendas”) when Día de los Muertos hits the East Bay this month. Having originated in Mexico, the festive tradition that made its way throughout Latin America (and globally!) honors ancestors in an uplifting fashion—and is also known for honoring lively music, dance, and culinary favorites.

Step out into the following BARTable Day of the Dead celebrations in Oakland and Berkeley for family fun. Candles and sugar skulls will light the way at these very special days and nights.

OMCA 25th Annual El Día de los Muertos Community Celebration (October 19) by Lake Merritt 

The 25th Annual El Día de los Muertos Community Celebration at Oakland Museum of California coincides with its latest educational exhibit, The Living Movement! Chicano Roots of The Day of the Dead. The interactive exhibit, which explores the history of how Day of the Dead made its way to the United States, runs until February 16. Meanwhile, on Saturday, October 19 from 12-4:30pm, OMCA hosts a bounty of folkloric live music, dance groups, and arts ‘n’ crafts projects for this modern installation of Day of the Dead. Presale tickets for the event are available online and range from $4-$18. Take BART to Lake Merritt and the museum is a two minute walk away. 

South Berkeley Farmers’ Market Día de los Muertos Celebration (October 29) by Ashby

Fresh farmers’ market produce and a live mariachi band? Si! Pick out your latest organic autumnal veggies and then make a Day of the Dead mask to bring home in your bundle. South Berkeley Farmers’ Market Día de los Muertos Celebration honors the dead with free lively fun on Tuesday, October 29 from 2:30-6:30pm. Take a short stroll from Ashby Station to Adeline St & 63rd St to discover plenty of sugar skulls and face painting for the whole family.

Luna Mexicana at The Paramount Theatre (November 1-2) by 19th St/Oakland

A gorgeous array of Day of the Dead costumes will take flight when a full lineup of dance performances command the stage of The Paramount Theatre on November 1-2. The Luna Mexicana program features Oakland Ballet Company, Ballet Folklórico México Danza, and Nahui Ehekatl & Co. Aztec dance company. During the show, witness the Frida Kahlo-themed theatrics of “Viva la Vida!” Meanwhile, a popup boutique, Mexican food, and hot chocolate will keep visitors busy in the venue’s lobby. Tickets are available online and range from $24-$200. Take BART to 19th St/Oakland and the theatre is only two minutes away. 

Fruitvale Día de los Muertos Festival (November 2) by Fruitvale

Celebrating its 24th year, the expansive Fruitvale Día de los Muertos Festival presented by The Unity Council is fittingly celebrating a theme called “Los Ausentes”—to pay homage to all those who have become “the absent” due to death, as well as “members of this very community who have been displaced due to deportation, gentrification, or incarceration.” Explore ornate altars, a vast collection of goods from local artisans, and a full day of family activities (with a live soundtrack) at this massive free outdoor celebration located steps from Fruitvale BART Station on Saturday, November 2 from 10am-5pm. 

Looking for events in San Francisco? Check out Día de los Muertos | San Francisco events. 

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