The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Today is Monday, September 24: Open 10am-8pm
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Día de los Muertos Community Festival



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Celebrate the dead with an all-ages festival throughout Downtown Santa Cruz.

Experience vibrant dance performances. Get your face painted. Indulge in delicious food. Join in on a procession to enjoy more dance, music and outdoor altars at Evergreen Cemetery.

Día de los Muertos is presented in partnership with SenderosFriends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

At-a-glance Schedule

12:30-2:00pm Begin with facepainting by Mariposa’s Art, tissue paper flowers with Salud y Cariño, luminaries with Hospice of Santa Cruz County and Skeleton Mariachi Bands with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks in Abbott Square and on Cooper St.

2:00pm Gather in Cooper St to proceed to Evergreen Cemetery

2:20-2:45pm Procession stops at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park with performance by Los Diablos Del Llano De Tecomates

3:00-3:30pm Procession moves on to Evergreen Cemetery

3:30-6pm Conclude with music, dancing, Mexican food & drink by Senderos and altars at Evergreen Cemetery

Explore an outdoor altar installation connecting those buried in Evergreen with current active community members, groups and local social issues including:  Louden Nelson Community CenterVolunteer Veteran’s of Santa Cruz CountySanta Cruz Community Health Centers, Starr King School for the Ministry & Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz CountyJose Alberto Gomez,  Chinese Student Association of UC Santa Cruz, E. Clampus Vitus, and the Young Writers Program.

6:15pm: Movie Screening of The Book of Life. We invite visitors to sit back, relax and enjoy this family friendly film in Evergreen Cemetery. Popcorn will be provided. Bringing your own blanket or lawn chairs is recommended.

Procession Route

  • Assembly Point: Cooper St at Abbott Square
  • Through Cooper Street to Front Street
  • Front Street to Mission Street
  • Left on Mission Street up hill to enter Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park via gate/staircase
  • Through Mission Plaza to Highway 1 Pedestrian Overpass to Bike Path
  • Bike Path to Evergreen and Coral Street
  • Ending location: Evergreen Cemetery

Altar Contest 

Be inspired by altars created by local organizations, artists, and community members. Enter your own for a chance to win prizes!

Register here/Registre aquí

Registration ends October 27th! More information here.

¡La inscripción termina el 27 de octubre! Más información aquí.


Directions from Watsonville: Take Highway 1 North towards Santa Cruz/Half Moon Bay. Exit Ocean Street/Beaches. Turn right onto Soquel Drive. Turn right onto Front Street. Parking is available in the surrounding parking garages. Museum entrance is directly across from Woodstock’s Pizza/Trader Joe’s in downtown Santa Cruz.

Map of Procession // Mapa de procesión