San Antonio’s Day of the Dead Celebration is the Largest in the US

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San Antonio is renowned for its lively atmosphere and colorful cultural events. This year, the city’s Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) will be the largest celebration of the holiday in the U.S.

Dating back to pre-Columbian times, Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican holiday when people celebrate their deceased loved ones. Participants create festive altars adorned with photographs, food and other gifts associated with the holiday such as marigolds, incense and candles to honor those who have passed. It’s said that on Nov. 1 and 2, the distance between the living and the dead is at its closest point creating a special moment to share memories and send wishes to dearly departed family and friends.

Taking place Oct. 26 through Nov. 3, San Antonio’s festivities include events big and small, some going back more than 40 years, with traditional altars, live music, Mexican cuisine and parades, many of which are family friendly and free and open to the public. Restaurants, cafes and cultural institutions across the city will showcase altars, customary décor and fresh-baked pan de muerto, a sweet bread that’s a traditional offering.

day of the dead san antonio

Día de Los Muertos (Oct. 26-27): For its seventh year, this celebration, also known as Muertos Fest, has expanded to a new location at Hemisfair in the heart of downtown. The free, family-friendly event features the largest open altar exhibition in the city along with live music on two stages, original Day of the Dead art, a drum and puppet procession, poetry readings and more. The fest was named one of the 10 Great Day of the Dead Celebrations by USA Today and the second best Día de Muertos Celebration in the country by

Day of the Dead San Antonio (Nov. 1-3): The historic La Villita neighborhood will serve as home to the new Day of the Dead San Antonio celebration. The three-day program includes artistic displays, activities for children, musical performances, a suite of gastronomical treats, a beer garden and Spirits Bar, dancing and opportunities to learn about the historic and cultural importance of the celebration. Additional Day of the Dead San Antonio events include:

  • Catrineras on the River (Nov. 1) – The kick-off to Day of the Dead San Antonio will dress the city’s famous river barges in the colorful hallmarks of the holiday for a floating parade down the River Walk. The parade ends with a performance of “La Danza de Las Mojigangas” at the Arneson River Theatre
  •  Celebrating Life 5 Run-Walk (Nov. 2) – Participants receive a race kit including a skeleton t-shirt, water bottle, and finisher medal. Runners also will have the opportunity to get their faces painted by a team of makeup artists before the race.

Cultural Exhibitions:

  • The Witte Museum’s Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids (Sept. 28 – Jan. 12) – Part of this exhibition, which explores the science and history of the world’s most popular imaginary creatures, will include a section on Alebrijes, brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of mythical creatures, from Oct. 22 – Nov. 16.
  • Mexicraneos Street (Oct. 15 – Nov. 15) – A series of sculptural skulls encompass a street art exhibition along Houston Street and around the new Frost Bank building in downtown San Antonio.
  • The Tobin Center’s Cinema on the Plaza (Oct. 25) – The free monthly family movie series will feature a special showing of the popular “Coco” feature film. Movie viewers also will enjoy Cabezones, large skulls decorated for the celebration, along with festive Catrinas, music and food.
  • San Antonio Museum of Art Family Day (Nov. 3) – The Museum invites children and their families to explore the collections, create art, and share Sundays together in this specially themed Dia de los Muertos day.

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Vanessa Gordon
Vanessa Gordon is the Founder of Travel & Taste Magazine. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Education from New York University and studied Literacy and British Literature at the University of Oxford, and Institute of Education in London during her study abroad experience as a graduate student. She lives with her husband, daughter, son, and our cats Abby and Amy. She is also the Publisher of East End Taste Magazine, LLC and Founder of the annual summer event, the Hamptons Interactive Brunch. Her writing has appeared in many print and online publications including Modern Luxury, Psychology Today, Long Island Pulse, Medium, Thrillist, Sag Harbor Express, The Independent Newspaper, and many more. She has been featured in AM New York, Parents Magazine, Pregnancy & Newborn, Hamptons Magazine, Resident Magazine, Social Life Magazine, and many more.

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