Founded 12 years ago in Oceanside by volunteers and MainStreet Oceanside, Día de los Muertos at the Mission has become the largest Día de los Muertos celebration in San Diego County and one of the largest in Southern California.
To accommodate the increase in foot traffic and crowd sizes, Old Mission San Luis Rey has added 2 free shuttle stops at El Camino High School and the Rancho Del Oro Sprinter Station. Patrons are encouraged to ride the Sprinter to the Rancho Del Oro Station and take the free shuttle. Attendance was estimated at 25,000 people in 2011 and the festival is expecting even more people this year.
“Día has become so popular we are encouraging people to take the free shuttle service to avoid the traffic delays,” says Maureen Sullivan, director of marketing and events at the Old Mission San Luis Rey.
Double-Decker shuttle service will begin at 10 a.m. with the last shuttle at 4:30 p.m.
Vehicles can still park at Old Mission San Luis Rey for $5 per car and parking is limited. Attendees who would like to park close to the event shouldn’t worry about parking delays.
“We are working closely with the City of Oceanside’s traffic division and implementing new solutions to mitigate any traffic backups,” says Sullivan.
Día de los Muertos is an annual celebration from South America that focuses on the gathering of friends and family to remember loved ones who have passed away. The roots of Día de los Muertos date back thousands of years and today many cultures celebrate this event.
Fun for all ages! The day’s festivities include: elaborate altars composed of thousands of marigolds provided by Mellano & Company; a chalk cemetery; a sold out car show hosted by Por Siempre Car Club; live entertainment featuring traditional and native themed dances; a Catrina character costume contest; arts, crafts, jewelry and Día themed wares vendors. Food vendors will have everything from tamales, pupusas, tacos, home made ice cream and Pan de Muerto available for purchase.
Carnival rides are available throughout the weekend starting on Friday, Oct. 26th from 5 – 11 pm, Saturday, Oct. 27th from 1 -11 pm, and on Sunday, Oct. 28th from 10 am – 4 pm. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Mission office.
Event information can be found at www.MSLRDiaDeLosMuertos.com.
The Old Mission San Luis Rey is located at 4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside, California.
Images courtesy of Kurt Lightfoot.