By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In his first public Día de Los Muertos celebration since the beginning of the pandemic, artist Consuelo Flores dedicates his altar to Thomas Mejia, a janitor who died saving a woman in June 2021.

“There has been a lot of loss in our community and a lot of isolation so this is an opportunity for our communities to come together to mourn the losses and celebrate our lives,” said Flores.

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Working with Self Help Graphics & Art, Grand Park opened its ninth annual Día de Los Muertos — Day of the Dead — this weekend, paying tribute to the Mexican cultural tradition with a 12-day public art installation. 

Traditionally, the holiday allows people to honor and reminisce on the lives of those who have passed away. 

From Oct. 22 through Nov. 2, guests can walk through Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles and view the 20 altars made by professional artists and local community organizations such as East Los Women’s Center, Community Power Collective and Eastside LEADS. The installation also features a community altar created by the 2018 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza. Altars are spaced to allow social distancing among guests. 

On Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. the Noche de Ofrenda (Night of the Offerings) returns. Guests can enjoy a performance by Danza Divina de Los Angeles featuring special guest General Lazaro Arvizu. Los Angeles County Museum of Art will offer calavera (skull) workshops. 

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Face coverings are required for all guests. 

It is one of the many fall celebrations back this year. In Burbank, Halloween Town returns with much fanfare from the community. 

“It’s just nice to be out and get back into the spirit of it,” said resident Jeremy Rojas. “Halloween is my favorite holiday.” 

Spending during Halloween is expected to reach an all-time high of more than $10 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

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Local health experts advised residents to celebrate safely as much as possible.