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Día de Muertos

  • Cleveland Public Theatre campus 6205 Detroit Avenue Cleveland, OH, 44102 United States (map)

A vibrant cultural celebration for the whole family, this 15th annual “Day of the Dead” honors the memory of those who have passed and is a treasured holiday in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Activities include indoor and outdoor art installations, Latin food, live music, performances and a colorful “Skulls & Skeletons” procession.

Día de Muertos Ohio and Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) / Teatro Público de Cleveland (TPC) proudly present the 15th Annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival in Cleveland’s Detroit Shoreway neighborhood on Saturday, November 2, from 11am to 10pm, to take place at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6205 Detroit Avenue, in the Gordon Square Arts District.

 This free, all-ages event opens at 11am and includes face painting for participants in the afternoon parade, pan de muerto (the traditional Day of the Dead bread), craft workshops, and holiday vendors. The main programming kicks off at 3:30pm with a community procession of “Skulls & Skeletons” along Detroit Avenue starting at Cleveland Public Theatre. The festivities will continue through 10pm with live music and performance, Latin food, visual art exhibits, and a DJ to cap off the evening. This time-honored tradition of honoring the ancestors includes a colorful display of altars (ofrendas or retablos) created by local artists, as well as a main altar which will be created by the community. To participate in the Community Altar, bring your item Friday, November 1st from 6pm-10pm, or Saturday, November 2nd from 11am-2pm.

 The Procession of "Skulls & Skeletons" has returned once again this year, and requires mandatory registration due to increased popularity. Participants must visit the Eventbrite page (Día de Muertos Ohio 2019 Celebration / Registration) or register in person on the day of the event to sign up. 

 According to CPT’s Executive Artistic Director, Raymond Bobgan: “This year, we celebrate 15 remarkable years. Every fall, this vibrant festival fills the campus with music, food, and stunning art – and we remember, honor, and celebrate our loved ones. Día de Muertos is one of our favorite times of the year, and we are so grateful for our partnership with Héctor Castellanos Lara and Día de Muertos Ohio. The event continues to grow in so many beautiful ways – the work Día de Muertos Ohio does in the community is exceptional.”


Although its name may sound grim, the Día de los Muertos holiday has its origins in the Aztec rituals of Mexico and other indigenous tribes of Latin America. An internet search of “Día de los Muertos” will yield any number of links to websites explaining and promoting the holiday. But the primary elements of this celebration indicate that the special nature of the occasion is to honor one’s ancestors and commemorate beloved ones who have passed. For the Aztecs and others with similar beliefs, honoring and calling upon the ancestors was integrated with harvest festivities, and gathering family to remember past family and friends with fondness and happy memories.

 Traditional arts, flowers, food, music, dance, and fun are integral to the cultural mix, as are particular items specific to the holiday, such as the altars (ofrendas). Elements of the earth (salt), wind (cut paper decorations, papeles picados), fire (candles), and water are among the items included on some altars. However, the traditions and rituals are widely varied throughout Mexico, Latin America, Spain, and other countries. When the Spaniards conquered the New World, the indigenous holiday was commingled and integrated with the Catholic All Saints and All Souls Days.

 The image of Catrina, the traditional “Lady of the Dead” goddess of the Aztecs, is a smiling skeleton. However gruesome or scary this or the idea of skulls is to Western culture, for the Aztecs skulls symbolized new life. Multiple colorful sculptures of candy skulls (calaveras) and skeletons (catrinas) are bursting with color and created with lighthearted and funny poses of the living. This deeply spiritual and yet exuberant celebration can often reflect more of an attitude about enjoying a higher level of consciousness and living life to the fullest.

 For more information, visit Día de Muertos Ohio on Facebook or, or call Cleveland Public Theatre (216) 621-2727 ext. 501.              



 All events take place at / Todos los eventos se llevarán acabo en: 
Cleveland Public Theatre
Church, Parish Hall, and surrounding area
6205 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland OH 44102

 11:00am – 10:00pm | Altars Exhibition, Cemetery Installations, & Performances / Exhibición de Altares, Cementerio de Instalaciones y Presentaciones Artísticas
11:00am – 2:45pm |
Face painting & crafts workshops / Maquillage de calavera y talleres de manualidades
3:30pm – 4:15pm |
“Skulls & Skeletons” Procession / “Procesión de Calaveras y Esqueletos”

MAIN ALTAR: Community Altar*
ALTAR #1: Jenny Spencer
ALTAR #2: Bella Sin
ALTAR #3: Cecilia Ivy Prince
ALTAR #4: Vincent & Alexandra D’Abate
ALTAR #5: Cara Romano
ALTAR #6: Lori Lane
ALTAR #7: Diana Sette

 *Bring an item for the Community Altar! / ¡Trae un artículo para el Altar de la Comunidad!
Fri Nov 1 (6:00pm – 10:00pm) or Sat Nov 2 (11:00am – 2:00pm)

Mark & Patty Jenks, Nina Huryn & Ted Olah, Ian Petroni, Comité Mexicano de Cleveland

Dance & Music:
1:30pm – 2:30pm | Dueto Maravilla (Romantic Mexican popular songs)
4:30pm – 4:45pm | Danza Azteca Guadalupana
4:50pm – 5:10pm | Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center Dancers
5:20pm – 6:30pm | Chakai Manta (Latin American music)
7:00pm – 8:30pm | Rice & Beans Latin Jazz Band
8:30pm – 10:00pm | Free Music Form

4:45pm Councilman Matt Zone

1:00pm – 2:00pm | Alphonso Linarez – International Guitar
5:45pm – 6:30pm | Nora Willauer – Cello
6:45pm – 7:30pm | Ariel Clayton – Violin

 OUTDOORS – PARADE (3:30pm – 4:15pm)
“Skulls & Skeletons” Procession will take place along Detroit Avenue.
Open to the public. / Abierto a todo el público. Mariachi Music by Santa Cecilia.
All participants are required to register. Please register at Día de Muertos Ohio 2019 Celebration on Eventbrite or in person the day of the parade. / Todos los participantes deberán registrarse. Regístrese en Día de Muertos Ohio 2019 Celebration en Eventbrite ó en persona el día del desfile.

 3:30pm | Depart CPT’s Parish Hall (6205 Detroit Avenue)
1st Stop | Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (West 70th Street & Detroit Avenue)
2nd Stop | Craciun Berry Funeral Home (West 72nd Street & Detroit Avenue)
4:15pm | Return to Cleveland Public Theatre

Facebook: diademuertosohio

 Día de Muertos 2019 Sponsors
Día de Muertos 2019 is made possible through support by Día de Muertos Ohio, Cleveland Public Theatre / Teatro Público de Cleveland, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone, Cleveland City Council, Craciun Berry Funeral Home, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Riverside Cemetery.

For more information about Día de Muertos, contact Cleveland Public Theatre’s Director of Audience Engagement & Media Relations, Caitlin Lewins, at 216-631-2727 ext. 211 or

Earlier Event: November 2
Produce to People with Cleveland Food Bank
Later Event: November 5
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