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A young boy keeps the time during a traditional dance at the annual Dia de los Muertos event last year at La Colonia Park in Solana Beach. This year’s event is Sunday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Photo by Lexy Brodt
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La Colonia prepares for Solana Beach’s 5th Dia de los Muertos celebration

SOLANA BEACH — Vibrant orange marigolds and resplendent altars will soon take center stage at La Colonia Community Park, as Solana Beach gathers to celebrate the traditional Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27 — the fifth celebration of its kind in the city’s historic La Colonia de Eden Gardens neighborhood. Coordinators are hoping the event will hark back to the area’s roots, bringing together La Colonia residents of new and old.

“One of our goals is to bring back the community, almost like a reunion,” said Lisa Montes, vice president of La Colonia Community Foundation. “So, a lot of our old-timers are coming that have moved away and they’re bringing their families … that was the goal from the beginning.”

The celebration will feature a car show, merchants, food, and musical acts with “deep roots” in Eden Gardens, including Jimmy Castro and the Smooth Groove and Ballet Folklorico Jalisciense, a local dance group.

This year’s event will recognize the holiday with “the biggest altar display we’ve ever had,” with 40 families honoring their ancestors along the park’s concrete periphery. The altars are displays meant to recognize deceased family members through different commemorative objects — food, flowers, photos, trinkets.

The foundation has been fundraising and planning the event for the better part of a year, amassing the help of about 40 volunteers to bring the pieces together. In the days leading up to the event, they are hoping to harness more volunteers to build a large floral display near the park’s “tree of life,” using marigolds donated by local flower growers Mellano & Company.

“It’s really a community effort and we’re really excited for this to take place,” Montes said.

For more information, contact Kirk Wenger, manager of Parks & Rec, at (858) 720-2453, or Lisa Montes at [email protected].

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