Long Beach’s largest Día de los Muertos celebration is returning for its eighth year on Saturday with a vibrant parade and daylong festivities, honoring the memories of loved ones who have died.
The parade portion of the event is free and kicks off at 11 a.m. on Pine Avenue and Third Street. Attendees can watch a stream of colorful floats, classic cars and folklórico dancers as the parade makes its way from East Shoreline Drive to Rainbow Lagoon.
The festival portion, the Artes and Ofrendas Festival, will open at the Rainbow Lagoon at noon and will feature a variety of cultural performances, including ballet folklórico and an Aztec dance blessing, along with traditional foods, music, arts and crafts and an artisan market.
Attendees are invited to leave mementos, photos or other offerings to their loved ones at the ofrendas (alters) at the festival.
The Día de los Muertos Grand Parade and Festival drew over 20,000 attendees last year, according to organizers.
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is annually celebrated in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, though celebrations often happen throughout the first week of November. It’s considered a joyous occasion tied to the belief that the spirits of passed loved ones briefly return to the physical world and families and friends customarily use this time to pay respects and remember the lives of those who have died.
The grand marshals to lead this year’s parade include Mayor Rex Richardson and councilmember Mary Zendejas, who serves the 1st District.
The city is also honoring several civic and community leaders as grand marshals including Jamie Jarren, an Ecuadorian-born American sportscaster known as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Gaby Hernandez the Executive Director of Orale, a local immigrant-led organization working to end the criminalization of immigrants; Esteven Gamez, the former president of the Long Beach LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce; and members of the Long Beach Latino Employees Organization.
The parade is free, open to the public and ends at 12:30 p.m. To see the parade route, click here.
Tickets to the festival at the Rainbow Lagoon, which is open from noon to 10 p.m., cost $10. Tickets for children ages 10 and under are $5. Tickets may be purchased online here.
The public is encouraged to celebrate in person, but those who prefer to stay home can tune in to a live stream of the parade on ABC7 Los Angeles’ digital channel followed by an on-air broadcast on ABC7 Los Angeles Sunday, Nov. 5, at 10:30 a.m.