This Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29, from noon to 5 p.m., the Mesa Arts Center campus will host a celebration of the memory of departed loved ones with the annual Dia de los Muertos Festival.
The free festival will offer a non-stop schedule of live entertainment, participatory children’s activities, traditional face painting, a wide variety of food options, studio demonstrations, and a Mercado Marketplace, featuring traditional and contemporary merchandise, jewelry, and Mexican arts and crafts from over 30 local artisans and vendors.
In the spirit of traditional Dia de los Muertos festivities, a community altar designed by artist Kyllan Maney with Mesa Arts Center volunteers, will be the centerpiece for the festival, where attendees can leave mementos in honor of their loved ones who have passed.
Altars created by community groups, schools and families will also be on display for a festival contest sponsored by the Mexican Consulate and Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens.
In the Family Activity area festival participants of all ages are invited to decorate, do a free skull art activity, or make a traditional paper flower. Families can also enjoy the Circus Americana Stilt walkers, performances by juggler James Reid, and live graffiti art by artists Such and Champ Styles.
The festival will culminate in a performance and an open procession to the Community Altar led by Mariachi Pasion at 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 29. Mesa Arts Center’s studios will offer free demonstrations throughout the festival and The Store, an artists’ cooperative and gallery will also be open and offering Day of the Dead-themed items.
There is no charge to attend the Dia de los Muertos Festival, and parking is free. Mesa Arts Center is located at One East Main Street in downtown Mesa.