Old Town's Fiesta de Reyes plans week-long Dia de Los Muertos celebration

Events run Saturday through Thursday
Posted at 12:34 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-27 15:35:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - With Dia de Los Muertos celebrations planned to last nearly a week, organizers at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town made sure everything they do this year is bigger.

"We realized we needed something that's a show stopper," says Eric Minella, who designed and helped build most of this year's decorations.

That includes a 10-foot tall stage, with a statue of "La Muerta, the Queen of the Dead" from the movie "The Book of Life." It sits on its own stage in the center of the plaza.

EVEN MORE: Dia de Los Muertos celebrations in San Diego

"It's a lot of flowers," says Minella with a laugh. "A lot of flowers."

Decorators also added 8 new Catrina sculptures to their display. They're life-size skeleton models in elegant dresses. That brings the total of life-size catrinas and skeletons to 42 around Fiesta de Reyes. They join hundreds of painted skulls and altars around the plaza, which will host events for the holiday from Saturday through Thursday.

"It's not about scaring people, it's about joy and honoring your dearly departed," says Minella.

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The holiday is traditionally celebrated in Hispanic and Mexican cultures. Families build altars to their deceased loved ones, as a way to welcome their spirits back for the day.

Minella says he loves representing that in Old Town each year.

"It's a labor of love. I love to create and I love to do this stuff," he says.

Events run from 12 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29,  Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.

In addition to the decorations, the celebration will have craft stations, three performances per day of a play written for the holiday, local artists performing, pinatas, puppets, tours of the historic district, a beer garden, costume contest and public altars for people to use.

For more information, check out their website here.