Dancers and members of a mariachi musical troupe dressed in colorful costumes, classic cars, “shoebox altars” and other art will combine at the sixth annual Dia de Los Muertos Festival at St. Mary’s Basilica Plaza next month.

Women dressed as catrinas, tall, female skeletons that wear fancy hats with feathers, will be part of the Dia de Los Muertos Festival on Sunday, Nov. 3 at St. Mary’s Basilica Plaza at 231 N. 3rd St. (photo by

Meaning “Day of the Dead” in Spanish, the free-of-charge festival is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at St. Mary’s Basilica Plaza at 231 N. 3rd St. Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration of life incorporating music and dancing and a day to honor and remember those who have died.

There will be a procession around the plaza starting at 12:30 p.m. Mariachi Juvenil de mi Tierra, as well as The Devoted Dolls, a group of vintage-style, pin-up girls who give back to the community, Matachines (carnavalesque dancers) and a Franciscan priest, along with altar servers and church parishioners will make up the procession.

Four ofrendas (altars to honor the memories of ancestors) designed by local artists Diana Calderon, Edgar Fernandez, Gloria Martinez and Martin Moreno encompassing the themes of earth, wind, water and fire twill be on display. An artisan market will feature pieces created by artists Kathy Cano-Murillo, Emily Costello, Veronica Verdugo Lomeli and Marco Garcia.

A Dia de los Muertos Mass will be celebrated inside the Basilica at 11 a.m.

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  • Colleen Sparks

    A 25-year industry veteran, she's written for a variety of outlets including The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, Money Talks News, and North Central News.

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