Community members were seen remembering their loved ones in a festive way on Sunday during the Dia de los Muertos Celebration in Santa Maria.
The tradition took place at the Veterans' Memorial Community Center during the day from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. featuring a Community Altar where locals could place a picture of remembrance for their passed loved ones.
The celebration was organized by the City of Santa Maria Recreation & Parks Department, which encouraged those participating to be as creative as possible when making their alters.
With photos, flowers and candles the community participated in this celebration of life. Figurines of the iconic Catrina, which is a tall female skeleton wearing a colorful dress were seen across the park.
“We didn’t have the event last year, but this is an annual opportunity for the Hispanic community to come out to learn about our programming, interact with our staff, and to learn about the resources available to the community,” said David Rodriguez, recreation coordinator, city of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department. “We definitely use this festival as an outlet in addition to just being a part of the celebration."
Those who created alters were required to register for the event beforehand.
Attendees enjoyed food from local vendors and also, had the opportunity to get some traditional face painting.
Dia de los Muertos is a holiday traditionally celebrated Nov. 2. It originated in Mexico, but is celebrated by people of Mexican heritage all over the world. The holiday is typically more joyous and light-hearted than sad, as families and friends exchange stories about their loved ones that have passed.