The City of San Clemente held its first official Day of the Dead celebration on Thursday, Nov. 2, recognizing the significance the holiday holds within the city’s Hispanic and Latin-American population.
Held at Max Berg Plaza Park, the event featured face paintings and an obstacle course for children, raffle prizes, traditional food and drink such as agua fresca, and appearances from organizations such as Latino Health Access and Kaiser Permanente.
Several groups performed, including Danza Azteca Cristo Rey and Raices Ballet Folklorico.
San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan spoke, expressing his happiness that the city was able to organize the event and mentioning the entities that contributed to the celebration, such as Rod’s Tree Service, SC Ranch Market and St. Clement’s By-The-Sea Episcopal Church.
“I do want to thank our city parks staff, (including) Samantha Wylie, director of Beaches, Parks and Recreation, and all of her amazing work they did putting this together,” said Duncan. “It doesn’t just happen on its own, it’s all because of their hard work. It’s great to see all the kids out here.”
Councilmember Victor Cabral also talked about the importance of honoring friends and family who have died and introduced the slate of entertainment to come.
“We also look forward to paying homage to this beautiful Hispanic tradition and celebrating the loved ones who have passed through the altar over here,” Cabral said, referring to the ofrenda the city set up in anticipation of Thursday’s event.