Day of the Dead

Dia 2016 banner 


The City of Santa Monica presents its fifth annual Día de los Muertos celebration. The family-friendly event focuses on the activities that are part of this traditional celebration of life and death. The event opens with a procession and ceremonial blessing by the Aztec dance group Ketzaliztli. The main stage features the colorful and dynamic Mexican folk dances of Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles, accompanied by Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar, and the son jarocho music of Veracruz by the noted East LA band Cambalache. Independent radio journalist and DJ Betto Arcos will emcee and share his own Day of the Dead stories and personal memories.

Additional performances include myths, legends, music and poetry by performer and educator Martin Espino, a dance demonstration and workshop with Santa Monica-based Cabeza de Vaca Cultural Dance School and strolling musicians Mariachi Los Dorados de Villa. Attendees can honor a loved one that has passed by making an offering of flowers and contributing stories of loved ones to a communal memory wall. Other activities include a photo booth with La Catrina and El Catrin, calavera face painting and a documentary screening on how families in Mexico prepare for this holiday. Fresh tamales, tacos, churros and aquas frescas will be available for purchase from Los Tamaleros Truck, Salina's Churro Truck and Tacos Super Gallito Truck.

Getting there

The cemetery is located at 1847 14th St. and is easily accessible by foot, bike, bus or car.
By bike: Take your bike or a Breeze Bike Share rental to the event. A free bike valet will be provided.
By bus: Ride Big Blue Bus Route 7 and Rapid 7 to the cemetery. Click HERE to plan your trip.
By car: Free parking will be available at the Santa Monica College lot located between 16th and 17th Streets on Pico Blvd. A shuttle service will be available between the SMC Lot to the cemetery entrance between 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.



The cemetery and most event components will be wheelchair/mobility device accessible. There will not be any cars in the cemetery during the event. Most activities will take place on the roads within the cemetery as well as on some grassy areas. All activities will be focused in and around the Mausoleum. Two golf carts will offer limited pick-up and drop-offs from the cemetery entrances to the Mausoleum. 


A section of spots along the east side of 14th Street, near both cemetery entrances, will be reserved for accessible parking. Vehicles must have a government-issued accessible parking license plate, placard, hangtag or sticker. No parking will be allowed inside the cemetery. Both entrances to the cemetery, on 14th St., will serve as drop-off locations. An attendant will be at each entrance. Two golf carts will offer limited pick-up and drop-offs.

For assistance with accessibility accommodations, contact the Cemetery at least one week prior to the event at 310-458-8688; TTY 310-458-8696.

This event is produced by the City of Santa Monica Community & Cultural Services Department, Woodlawn Cemetery, Mortuary & Mausoleum, Santa Monica Public Library, and artist Paulina Sahagun. Parking at SMC is made possible by SMC/Workforce & Economic Development Department.


Other Citywide Events

Click HERE for a poster of all events.

This year, Santa Monica observes Día de los Muertos with seven events at six venues throughout the city between October 22 and November 5, 2016. The range of events offers people of all ages a variety of ways to engage in, and become familiar with, the many aspects of this important and rich tradition.

Citywide events include sugar skull decorating at Fairview Branch Library; a student art exhibit at Santa Monica High School Roberts Gallery; the Main Library’s Harvest Festival and a documentary screening/discussion; a family-friendly event at Virginia Avenue Park; and Edison Language Academy’s annual festival including altars, food, music, crafts and tours.




Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery.
City of Santa Monica © 2016

Woodlawn Cemetery, Mausoleum & Mortuary (FD# 2101) · 1847 14th Street, Santa Monica, CA · (310) 458-8717 · TTY (310) 917-6626
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