Weekend ushers in annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration

Chula Vista’s Second Annual Dia De Los Muertos Celebration is back this year on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 3-8 p.m., where Memorial Park will be transformed into a place to honor deceased ancestors, welcome them back as memories, and celebrating life with the entire family. Known as the largest Dios De Los Muertos celebration in South Bay, this free community event features live music, an alter competition, face painting, and a special screening of Disney Pixar’s “Coco” beginning at 7 p.m.

Downtown Chula Vista Association District Manager Dominic Li Mandri said this is a family-friendly event and they wanted to see the community embrace the celebration as much as they did last year.

This year’s celebration is also introducing competition for a chance to win cash prizes. Attendees can participate in an altar-building contest with three distinct categories (Best Altar Created by School/Students, Best Altar Created by General Public & Best Overall Altar) with a $500 cash prize for the first two categories and a $1,000 cash prize for Best Overall Altar.

“This year, we added a little more functions,” he said. “We really want to see the community put their passions and thoughts into these competitions. So, we invite the community to come out to embrace this culture and to immerse themselves in it.”

Li Mandri said this event is sponsored by the City of Chula Vista and the Chula Vista Art Grant, which DCVA recently received a grant from.

“This is a local grown, locally sponsored event and we want to invite the entire San Diego and South Bay community to come out to attend,” he said.

Memorial Park Main Stage entertainment includes Sunshine Folklorico, Mariachi Divinas, Karlos Paez of B-side Players, and Kimba Light.

F Street Vignette (Third Avenue and F Street) includes Ana the Face Painter, Gio Mejia, and DJ A-Boogie. The altar contest award ceremony is at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Stage.