Dia de los Muertos came early to Claremont

Fenja Klaus, left, gets her face painted by Tina Gopar of Happy Lil Faces, right, during last week’s Dia de los Muertos event in the Claremont Village. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

On October 14, Claremont Heritage, Rio de Ojas, Claremont Lewis Museum of Art and Friends of the Claremont Library hosted a Dia de los Muertos event in the Village which included vendors selling Hispanic crafts at a marketplace behind Bardot. Crowds engaged in face painting and other arts activities along Harvard Avenue as local residents set up ofrendas and offerings to their late family members in and around Shelton Park. The free event also featured entertainment from local mariachi, marionette and salsa and Latin ballroom dance groups.

Claremont resident Pauline Bourne, who created an ofrenda for her late parents, Lee Moreno and Annie Moreno, expressed gratitude for being able to show the community her family and culture.

“I enjoy sharing and people seem to be interested and that’s what I love about it. Everybody stops and asks [questions] and then they stay here and they want to know more. It’s been a lot of fun. It means a lot to me,” she said. “People that don’t know this or haven’t done this, don’t understand it, this helps them understand it.”

Anisa Ortiz, who set up an ofrenda of her late mother Irene that included food and photos of family members, aunts and uncles, as well as friends, added that last Saturday’s events were important for the younger generations to experience to keep traditions going. “It’s also important for me for our younger generation just to see our traits and a lot of our ancestors and the stories behind them,” Ortiz said.

The official celebration of Dia de los Muertos begins Wednesday, November 1 and runs until the following day. Visit dayofthedead.holiday for Day of the Dead ideas.


[R-L] Manuel and Norma Bustamante admire the ofrenda Claremont resident Pauline Bourne created of her late parents, Lee Moreno and Annie Moreno, last Saturday at Shelton Park. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo


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