San Antonio Día de los Muertos festival — one of the largest in US — returning to Hemisfair this fall

Muertos Fest will take place Oct. 23-24

Artist Enrique Martínez spent five weeks perfecting his piece titled El Paso. (Alicia Barrera, Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – One of the largest Día de los Muertos festivals in the United States is returning this year after a hiatus due to COVID-19, and it is taking place in downtown San Antonio.

Muertos Fest will celebrate its ninth year on Saturday, Oct. 23 and Sunday, Oct. 24 at Hemisfair.

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The “expanded” and in-person festival will include community altars, live music, art and workshops, organizers announced Friday. The event will be free and family-friendly.

It will also include a digital broadcast for those who are unable to attend in person.

“Last year we shut down our in-person event but given the pandemic’s devastating impact we felt it was important to keep Día de los Muertos active and produced a successful broadcast and livestream virtual event featuring stories from our altar makers and musical guests including Los Lobos, the Mavericks, Carla Morrison and Lila Downs,” Muertos Fest artistic director Jim Mendiola said in a news release. “As our community has begun to enjoy public gatherings in a safe manner, Muertos Fest 2021 gives space and programming to reflect and observe all we’ve been through.”

“We’re looking forward to gathering again for an in-person celebration of Día de los Muertos.”

Organizers said this year’s festival will center around “awareness of the past year, combined with an assurance of a positive future.”

In 2019, National Geographic named San Antonio’s Día de los Muertos celebration as one of the best fall festivals in the United States.

Organizers said it is expected to attract more than 100,000 people this year, making it one of the largest Día de los Muertos festivals in the United States.

The music lineup for the event has yet to be announced, and art and food vendors can apply for the festival here.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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