04 October 2016

Old Pasadena Day of the Dead

Posted in Events


Old Pasadena Day of the Dead

PASADENA, CA. (October, 2016) – For a second year, Old Pasadena celebrates Day of the Dead, the reverent yet vibrant Mexican holiday that honors loved ones who have passed before us. During the three-day event, dozens of Old Pasadena businesses will create beautiful altars in their spaces to showcase during the self-guided Tour of Altars. The weekend culminates with Sunday’s lively, free Family Fiesta and One Colorado Courtyard’s outdoor screening of the animated 2014 film The Book of Life.


Friday, October 28 – Sunday, October 30, during participating business hours

Participating businesses throughout Old Pasadena 

Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour of both traditional and contemporary interpretations of altars lovingly created to honor and celebrate the spirits of the dearly departed. The Best Traditional and Contemporary Altars will be selected by a panel of judges and awarded $500 each. A PDF map of the Tour of Altars will be available on our websitewww.oldpasadena.org on October 24, as well as a Google map version for easy reference.


Sunday, October 302:00-6:00pm

Metro Right of Way Alley between Holly Street and Colorado Blvd., 100 E. Union Street

The playful spirit of Day of the Dead comes to life on Sunday, October 30, during the free fiesta designed for families to learn about the holiday together during a colorful, entertaining afternoon. The event features kids’ craft activities sponsored by Color Me Mine and the Armory Center for the Arts, make-up artists who specialize in calaveras(sugar skulls) face-painting, Day of the Dead merchandise and artwork from local artisan vendors, a performance with Mariachi Tesoro de Rebecca Gonzales, photo opportunities, a community altar installation, an authentic ritual performance from In Tlanextli Tlacopan Aztec Fire Dancers, and a 75-minute family program with nationally recognized storyteller Olga Loya, who offers her signature stories and historical insight about the holiday. 


Sunday, October 30, 7:00pm

One Colorado Courtyard, 41 Hugus Alley

The 2014 animated The Book of Life follows protagonist Manolo’s mythic struggle between following his heart or his familial expectations. From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez, The Book of Life offers thrilling visuals to accompany Manolo’s journey through fantastical worlds where he confronts his greatest fears and contends with some interesting deities.

All events are free admission and open to the public.

Old Pasadena Day of the Dead is presented by Old Pasadena Management. For more information, the public is invited to visit www.oldpasadena.org or call (626) 356-9725.

MEDIA: Please contact Janet Swartz at (626) 356-9725 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information and photographs.


Marimba Tropical – 2:00pm & 3:00pm

Marimba Tropical, headed by Lucas Critchfield, performs music from Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala. Lucas plays on authentic Chiapan marimbas made in Venustiano Carranza, Chipas by Segundo Vleeschower Borraz, brother of the famous marimba soloist Manuel Vleeschower Borraz ("El Raton").

Olga Loya – 3:00pm

Born into a storytelling family in East Los Angeles, San Jose-based Olga Loya has a long career in storytelling, charming listeners with her personal tales, magical folklore, improvisation, and colorful interaction with her audiences. Join Olga for her Day of the Dead program, during which she explores the history of the tradition, shares playful stories and folktales, and ends with a moving personal story about her own mother’s death and the altar Olga’s family created for her.

Mariachi Tesoro de Rebecca Gonzales – 5:00pm

Mariachi Tesoro is a multicultural, mixed gender group of professional musicians that performs a variety of genres, including traditional Mariachi to Tex-Mex and Latin Jazz. 

In Tlanextli Tlacopan – 5:30pm

Extended members of the Tellez family from the neighborhood of Tacuba (once known as Tlacopan) in Mexico City comprise In Tlanextli Tlacopan, a dance troupe that performs La Danza Azteca (Aztec dance).  With spectacular, plumed costumes and ritual dance performances, the group honors both Aztec ancestors and indigenous legacy.