Downey residents flock to 9th annual ‘Dia De Los Muertos’

Maricela+Avi%C3%B1a

Diana Morales

Maricela Aviña in traditional Día De Los Muertos makeup as she stands next to her artwork.

Diana Morales, Staff Writer

The City of Downey hosted its 9th annual “Día de Los Muertos” event on Oct. 29 from 11 a.m to 8 p.m.

This event has been taking place at the Downey Theater on Firestone, right across the street from Downey High School and had local food vendors, live performances and fun activities to participate in.

Entering the event, you notice a community altar displayed with pictures, flowers and different offerings for loved ones that have passed.

The community altar
The community altar with pictures of loved ones. The altar consists of flowers, offerings and many picture on Oct. 29. (Diana Morales)

This is the traditional belief that the loved one who has passed will come to visit and take their offerings.

Inside the Downey Theater was an altar dedicated to pets who have passed and was also decorated with flowers and treats for the pets.

About seven tall skeleton statues were wearing traditional Mexican dresses and suits that people were able to take pictures with.

The Día de Los Muertos event had multiple food vendors and local vendors, which were “Pinch of Flavor,” “The Taco Cartel,” a Pupusa truck and even street vendors selling Tamales among other items.

Teresa Verduzco
Author Teresa Verduzco holding up her book “Domingos con Abulita” on Oct. 29. (Diana Morales)

There were also local artists selling beautiful traditional Mexican-inspired work as the Mexican American artist Maricela Aviña was there selling some of her work.

“My art is inspired by life. As cliché as that sounds, life experiences.” Aviña shares, “I’m really inspired by Sylvia Ji and Frida Kahlo; a majority are women artists but also the youth.”

Different small businesses were selling things like homemade candles, aprons pins and many more goods.

On the main stage, they had multiple dancers of all ages performing a traditional Mexican dance called “Folklorico.”

Outside next to the theater there was a live performance where people happily danced to salsa and merengue.

There were a lot of activities for the kids and adults to participate in as they had a section for people to decorate their own paper masks to look like the face paint, traditionally worn on Día de Los Muertos.

Author of “Sundays with Abuelita” Teresa Verduzco was doing book signings and taking pictures with fans. She used to teach 2nd grade and would share with the student’s stories of her childhood.

“Everyone has a very unique story so share your story with the world. You will inspire someone,” Verduzco shared.

Many children stopped with their parents to take a picture with Verduzco.

This event continues to bring a community together who all share the same beliefs and culture backgrounds.

They encourage people to also come out and learn about the Mexican belief of Día de Los Muertos.