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Dia de los Muertos Comes Alive in Corpus Christi

Taken at the 2018 Dia de los Muertos Festival, this photo by @fire_wood.frog gives just a glimpse of the fun you’ll find in downtown Corpus Christi on Saturday, November 2. If you go, post your own photos on social media with #diadelosmuertoscc. Courtesy photo

Corpus Christi takes Dia de los Muertos seriously, mixing a reverence for lost loved ones with a big dose of creativity, art, celebration, and fun. Two main events in the city celebrate the Day of the Dead on Saturday, November 2, so if you’re visiting the Coastal Bend the first weekend in November, you're in luck!

At the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, non-members only pay $1 admission November 2 for a day of traditional Dia de los Muertos activities, including making flower crowns and calavera masks, decorating sugar skulls, and face painting.

The museum opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Saturday, which leaves time to enjoy yourself there before moving the fun over to one of the biggest and most renowned Day of the Dead festivals in Texas.

Just a few blocks away in downtown Corpus Christi, the streets are blocked off for the Dia de los Muertos Street Festival, where giant paper mâché puppets will parade amongst vendors, live music, costumes, dancers, and more. From 3 p.m. to midnight, downtown Corpus Christi becomes a colorful, creative, and festive party, complete with altars honoring loved ones.

What started as a street party 12 years ago has become a huge celebration that draws thousands to the area for its many activities, including the popular Hecho-a-Mano Arts and Crafts Expo with more than 85 vendors selling arts and crafts, jewelry, and other handmade items.

Find the Kids' Corner for children's activities, including rock climbing, crafts, games, and mural painting.

Art students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi perform sculpture and printmaking demonstrations and serve as puppet masters for the oversized calaveras (paper mâché puppets).

Three stages stay busy with music and entertainment, including mariachis, cumbia, Tejano, conjunto, Latin jazz, pop, and rock bands. Headliners this year are Kings del Wepa from Coahuila, Mexico.

Dance performances include Native American, folklorico, and contemporary.

At the Ritz Theater, you’ll find the Walk of Remembrance, where community members set up ofrendas to honor departed family members, soldiers, celebrities, leaders, and others. A sacred Mexican tradition, ofrendas are altars that display a deceased loved one’s favorite foods, possessions, flowers, and phtotos along with candles, incense, and other items to honor their lives. Mementos can also be left at a community altar on the theater stage.

K Space Contemporary art gallery, one of the two businesses downtown that started the festival, will be open for its Arte Inmersivo, a bright, colorful popup exhibit perfect for selfies.

Along with K Space Contemporary, the Dia de los Muertos Festival is organized each year by Electra Art*Axix Tattoo. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit K Space Contemporary.

New this year, visitors can stay in the heart of the festival with special room rates at Holiday Inn Corpus Christi Downtown Marina. You can also sign up for the VIP Experience with reserved sidewalk seating, food, a salsa bar, a face painter, and easy access to frozen drinks, wine, and restrooms. You’ll also be close to the main stage and receive a VIP swag bag. Tickets are $50 and must be reserved in advance.

Admission to the festival is free.

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