Instead of mourning the passing of loved ones, the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebrates them with huge bashes and colorful festivals. As South Florida gears up for next week's holiday, New Times
has rounded up some of the region's best happenings. You can even win two round-trip tickets to Mexico. From block parties to workshops and exhibitions, the best Day of the Dead events in South Florida are here at your fingertips.
1. Eighth-Annual Florida Day of the Dead Celebration.
South Florida's ultimate Day of the Dead celebration.
Photo by Carina Mask
Last year, more than 10,000 attendees took to the streets of Fort Lauderdale to honor the dearly departed at a massive Day of the Dead celebration. If you haven't witnessed the spectacle in all its festive glory, here's your chance to be a part of the fun. The night features jam-packed festivities ranging from mask- and puppet-making to sugar-skull face painting to street performers, lowriders, and other activities. Be prepared for your jaw to drop when puppets as tall as 19 feet, skeletons, and mariachi musicians make their way along the Riverwalk to the Folklórico Stage during the skeleton processional. You can check out the festival's full list of events here
. This is definitely one Day of the Dead celebration that will inspire FOMO. 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, November 2, in downtown Fort Lauderdale, dayofthedeadflorida.com. Admission is free.
2. Día de Muertos Celebration at HistoryMiami Museum.
Experience an authentic Día de Muertos fiesta at HistoryMiami Museum.
Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami Museum
Venture to Florida's largest history museum and experience an authentic Día de los Muertos fiesta with live paintings, performances, and other diversions, including an incredible ofrenda
, or offerings, are altars made in honor of deceased loved ones and often including photos, their favorite foods, water, candles, sugar skulls, marigolds, and the deceased's personal possessions.) Kick off the night by decorating your own sugar skull, and dig into delicious Mexican dishes. Don't miss the Ameyal Mexican Cultural Organization's
performance explaining the history behind the tradition. You'll be dropping knowledge bombs on all of your friends after this one. For the night's schedule of events, visit the museum's site here
. 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 1, at HistoryMiami Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-1492; historymiami.org. Admission is free with RSVP via historymiami.org.
3. Día de los Muertos Lake Worth.
Get your face painted at the festival.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
The trek to Palm Beach County from Miami-Dade isn't short. But because a $14,550 grant from the State of Florida
is helping to fund this second-annual festival, you know it will be a celebration of epic proportions. Lake Worth will honor those who have passed at its free family-friendly bash with a slew of happenings ranging from a procession to folkloric dances to live music, face painting, live art demonstrations, and so much more
. Bonus: Festival parking is free. 4 p.m. Saturday, November 4, at Hatch 1121, 1121 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth; 561-493-2550; lakewortharts.com. Admission and parking are free.
4. Community Ofrendas and Inspired by Frida Day of the Dead Art Exhibition.
The sacred exhibition will run through Thursday, November 2.
Photo by TChadwick
The monthlong event, hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and part of Florida Day of the Dead
, presents 37 artists in its sacred community exhibition. Through Thursday, November 2, at New River Inn at Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, 231 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-463-4431; fortlauderdalehistoricalsociety.org. Free with museum admission.
5. Día de Muertos at Talavera.
Is your festive look worth two round-trip tickets to Mexico?
Photo by Carina Mask
Is the monotony of your 9-to-5 giving you fantasies of beachside splendor? You're in luck. This Coral Gables restaurant is offering an epic prize to the winner of its festive costume contest: two round-trip tickets from Miami to any Aeroméxico destination in Mexico. Start working on those costumes, amigo. Even if your festive look doesn't rival those of the competition, the live band, Oaxacan-themed menu (served November 2 through 5), and cocktails will make your Día de los Muertos one to remember. 6 p.m. Thursday, November 2, at Talavera Cocina Mexicana, 2299 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-444-2955; talaveraspot.jaguarhg.com.