As Dia De Los Muertos becomes more corporate and commercialized, it’s easy to forget what is behind the day that makes it special to many of us. It’s a celebration of life as well as death. It’s a reminder that one day; we will leave this earth much like many who we come to cherish. Whether it’s family, friends or people who have inspired us to live our lives to the fullest, we remember them and the imprint they left with us. We celebrate them by creating altars, offering up our loved ones favorite flowers, food and libations. And since the spirit world can’t partake in the goodies we leave them in the physical world, we offer them the essence (and eat the goodies ourselves!)
Celebrating its 8th annual Dia De Los Dead celebration is the crew from Eastside Luv. What makes their event impressive is they pay for it all out of pocket. No corporate sponsorships, no city money and the event is free! Last year’s celebration was the first to be done outside of the bar and in the streets of Boyle Heights surrounding The Mariachi Plaza. This year the event adds another stage, more vendors and a full-liquor/beer garden. The line-up is impressive. Mexican Institute Of Sound, with record digger, beat maker and always fun Camilo Lara. Camilo will also do a DJ set inside the bar Eastside Luv after the event. Nina Dioz, straight reppin' on the mic from Monterey, Mexico, Familia Valera Miranda out of Cuba, Chicano Son featuring Alice Bag with guest Bob Robles (Thee Midniters) Los Diablos, who are a classic grupera that played started in 1969 that in their heyday played a wide spectrum of the Mexican-America experience. They play Rancheras, Disco, Boleros, Santana-esque rock, soul cover in Spanish, Grab you abuela and get ready to dance!
The State stage will have impressive line-up of newcomers such as Bongoloidz, Cherry Glazerr (The band, not the NPR lady) and Irene Diaz. Veteranas Locas such as Lysa Flores and Maria Del Pilar former known as Pilar Diaz or Lady P from the band, Los Abandoned. And what would a Day Of The Dead festival be at Mariachi Plaza without Mariachi? Trios Ellas and Mariachi Los Toros will put a tear in your beer for sure.
Besides the many booths, local business will be open late such as Espacio 1839/Radio Sombra (with a face-painting booth) Un Solo Sol, The MBar, Primera Taza Café and hopefully, Pati Zarate’s new taqueria will be open as well. She is formerly the badass head chef of the beloved Homegirl Café in Chinatown and her restaurant should be a sight for sore eyes (and stomachs) Not to mention some of my favorite old school spots La Placita Del DF (one of my personal favorites) Birriera Jalisco, Yeyas Restaurant (Kick-ass chilaques) La Serenata De Garibaldi, or get drunk with your borracho tio for cheap at Las Palomas.