Honoring the people, places and ideas that merit adoration and commemoration, Gloria Molina Grand Park’s 12th annual Downtown Día de los Muertos welcomes parkgoers to pay reverence at 19 altars created by professional artists and local community organizations.
Parkgoers can also contribute to the annual community altar -the 20th altar- which will honor the victims of gun violence in Monterey Park and those who perished in Maui’s wildfires.
Located: Gloria Molina Grand Park Fountain Overlook and Performance Lawn
Saturday, October 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Grupo Folklorico Huitzillin
- Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles will perform in the park at the Fountain Overlook;
- LA Opera Connects, the educational arm of The Music Center’s resident company partner, LA Opera, will present tenor Jonathan Lacayo, who will perform an array of songs celebrating Día de los Muertos.
- Workshops: Create your own mini altars and cookie sugar skulls
The opening day of Gloria Molina Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos coincides with the highly popular DTLA event, Grand Ave Arts: All Access, in which the park is participating.
Thursday, November 2nd, from 7:30 p.m.
The community is invited to the free screening that celebrates the legends of Latin American cinema. The park will partner with GuadaLAjara Film Festival (GLAFF) to proudly present a special screening of the 1960 film Macario, directed by Roberto Gavaldón. Free tickets are available at glaff.org/program.
Reflections and Remembrances
By Consuelo G. Flores
Every year, the dates of November 1 and 2 are set aside to honor those who we’ve lost in the
last year and in the years before. We build ofrendas also known as altars, filled with objects to
help us remember those loved ones as well as reflect on the gifts they gave us – gifts such as
love, companionship, lessons and, in some cases, freedom.
This year, as you walk through the park visiting and taking in each ofrenda, you’ll see tributes to
multi-cultural ancestors, mothers, grandmothers, veterans, creatives, members from our
lowrider, LGBTQ+, and ranchero communities, as well as family pets.
You’ll also find two different altars honoring our Los Angeles icon – the amazing Gloria Molina
for whom this park is named – one built by her family dedicated to her personal relationships
and one dedicated to her public work.
The public is invited to place their own personal remembrances for their dead on the
community altar which, this year features a special tribute to the victims of gun violence in
Monterey Park as well as in the wildfires in Maui.
Building ofrendas is bittersweet. We become reflective and appreciate the many people we’ve
lost, remembering the beauty and richness they offered us, the love and guidance they
provided as well as the valor and value of their lives in ours. It’s also a time to reflect on our
own contributions to the future generations and how, even in the smallest way, we can provide
the same attributes to those we leave behind.
As you visit with each of these ofrendas, take in the essence of each person(s) being honored
and recognize their spirits as the “wind carries messages… as it moves through the park, full of
laughter… they’re here again.”