Children age 10 and under in costume are invited to trick-or-treat in downtown Davis on Halloween and participate in two new holiday activities — free showings of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and the first Dia de los Muertos Festival.
Trick-or-treating will take place rain or shine at participating businesses from 2 to 4:30 p.m. When the kids’ legs get tired, stop by the Varsity Theatre, 616 Second St., for free showings of the popular “Peanuts” cartoon at 2, 2:35, 3:10 and 3:45 p.m.
The Day of the Dead Festival — a celebration of family, community, storytelling and art — will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the E Street Plaza in the 200 block of E Street downtown.
Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican-American holiday dedicated to the ancestors; it honors both death and the cycle of life. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music and fun with their extended community, both living and departed.
“The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away,” says event organizer Nina Gatewood, deputy director of marketing, arts and entertainment for Davis Downtown.
“With its procession, performances and community altar, Davis Downtown’s El Dia de los Muertos celebration will bring Davis students, performers, businesses, artists and other community groups and leaders to the heart of Davis to give thanks to those who have touched our lives,” she added. “We encourage all people of all ages to come dressed in traditional El Dia de los Muertos dress and costumes.”
The schedule of events includes:
* 11 a.m.: Amar Azucena Cid and her group of artists will build the Davis Community Altar at the E Street Plaza stage. Community members are encouraged to contribute offerings like photos, letters, flowers, food and mementos to place on the altar all day to celebrate lives of those now gone.
* 1 p.m.: Voice of the Wood will perform “Old Devil Wind,” “The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything” and “The Ghost of John.”
* 4:30 p.m.: El Dia Procession goes from Tres Hermanas, Second and H streets, to the E Street Plaza. Participants are invited to dress in traditional costume and make-up.
* 4:45 p.m: César Chávez Elementary Choir and Mariachi Puente will perform at the E Street Plaza. Mariachi Puente is a musical group composed of Spanish Immersion students and alumni, Davis Bridge Foundation Homework Club students from Emerson and Harper junior high schools, Davis High and Da Vinci High students; and DHS alumni and parents.
* 5:15 p.m.: El Dia de los Muertos poem read in both English and Spanish by poet Francisco Alarcon, who will perform the ancient Nahuatl tradition of “Call to the Four Directions.”
Throughout the event, visitors can make crafts at a Davis Food Co-op booth, buy sugar skulls from César Chávez Elementary School and sip Mexican hot chocolate provided by Tres Hermanas.
The holiday event is sponsored by Davis Downtown, Tres Hermanas, the Pence Gallery, Watermelon Music, The Davis Dirt and the Davis Food Co-op.
For more information, email Gatewood at email@example.com.