The smell of tacos al pastor and the sound of mariachi music filled the air along Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach as part of the Dia de Los Muertos block party festivities on Saturday.
Guests at the free event enjoyed live performances from an all-women mariachi band called Mariachi Angelito, who played classic ranchera and some cumbia songs. Food trucks lined Pine Avenue along with artisans selling merchandise under decorative papel picado flyers strung from the apartment buildings above.
The event was hosted to celebrate the Latin American holiday that pays homage to deceased family members. The holiday is not so much Latin America’s version of Halloween, which is dark and horror-inducing, but more of a celebration of life, as the festivities are often adorned with colorful ofrendas where images of dead family members are placed alongside painted skulls and candles as a way to honor their life.