calavera pumpkin, Hollywood Forever 2011
The smell of copal lilts on the wind, the sound of rattles with each step, bright marigolds and paper monarch butterflies carpet the ground – one of my favorite events in Los Angeles is happening this Saturday, Día de Los Muertos/Lady of the Dead at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
This twelve hour event features dancers, all day music and performances (This year’s headliner is Lila Downs), and altars/ofrendas that spread across the property that is now home to Rudolf Valentino, Marion Davies, and Cecil B. DeMille. The added lure of this event is that Los Angeles is one of the most creative communities in the world and here that creativity is taken to new levels. Ofrendas although originally intended to honor loved ones that have passed range from the traditional honoring of family, tributes to celebrities who are no longer amongst the living, and all manner of satire. This political season will show up in interesting and funny ways I assure you. The cemetery and mausoleum become open gallery spaces for the entirety of the event. I recommend going early to wander the grounds to see all of the art close up before the sun sets and you miss the intricate details.
example of calavera/sugar skull make up
Although dressing up like calaveras, some people call this sugar skull, is optional I will let you know that you will kick yourself for not participating. Dressing up for this event is another avenue for Los Angeles to display its creativity. Makeup artists with special effects skills and prosthetics that can mimic skull faces, lucky people who can raid costume departments for victorian dresses, or people who make their own elaborate creations.
For the history of this event and photos from past events, please see their website. [linked below]
[Getting there: 4/704 on Santa Monica Blvd.or a bit of a walk from Western bus 257 ]
Where: Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
When: Saturday, October 24th 12:PM-12:am
Ages: All Ages
Food: Yup, bring cash.
Cost: $20 in advance and at the door. If you pay at the door, please bring exact change.
I strongly recommend a car service like Lyft or Uber as parking is hard to find within a decent walking distance and costs extra at the event.
Next up….“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” F. Scott Fitzgerald