October 17, 2018

10 Must-Do Tips for Days of the Dead

How to make the most of OMCA’s Days of the Dead Community Celebration

by OMCA Staff

Here are our top ten tips to help you make the most out of OMCA's Days of the Dead Community Celebration.

1. Get tickets ahead of time.

Avoid the long line—buy tickets ahead online, so you don’t have to wait at all to get in. Even better, purchase an OMCA Membership to get in faster and to come back to the Museum for free.

2. Hop on BART.

BART is the easiest, most convenient way to get here since we’re only a block away from Lake Merritt Station. And taking public transit also connects to the spirit of Días de los Muertos—it’s a gesture that acknowledges Mother Earth and how we can change our habits to sustain life.

3. Come ready to eat!

Off the Grid food trucks will be parked on 10th street and serving a range of Latin-inspired foods, so be sure to get a delicious agua fresca or an empanada.

4. Bring cash for the mercado.

In the mercado, or market, you’ll find local makers and artists, plus the El Sol Bakery from Fruitvale selling classic Pan de Muerto, or bread of the dead. From Days of the Dead-themed prints to jewelry, you’ll find something unique and special to take home for your own Días de los Muertos altar. The OMCA Store also offers unique apparel—be sure to get a Days of the Dead t-shirt before they sell out!

5. Join the procession and reflect at the altars.

The ceremony opens with a procession led by spiritual leaders of the Días de los Muertos Committee to establish sacred space. This is a great way to center yourself, reflect on why you have come to the Celebration, and contemplate the past year—whether it’s through gratitude or an expression of loss. Begin at the directional altar, located by the Koi Pond, which sets the tone for the whole celebration. After that, head through the Gardens and visit the community-created altars.

6. Check out Homegrown Heroes: Oakland A’s at 50.

Closing the same day as Days of the Dead, Homegrown Heroes pays homage to three iconic A’s players with rare photographs, high school yearbook images, and sports memorabilia. Learn about their roots in The Town and contributions to the team before it’s gone!

7. Explore the galleries.

Explore the Museum’s 110,000 square feet of gallery space, including hands-on exhibitions with interactive activities for the whole family to enjoy. Find inspiration in a new artwork and connect with new and old friends inside our galleries of Art, History, and Natural Sciences. And don’t miss special exhibition The World of Charles and Ray Eames.

8. Savor the performances.

The Days of the Dead Community Celebration has two stages, so there’s a lot to see. The amphitheater stage on 10th Street will feature Aztec dance and mariachi. To experience the full color of this tradition, don’t miss the Fuego Nuevo Ballet Folklorico performance with a full ensemble of traditional dances and costumes in the garden.

9. Don’t miss the demos.

At the tortilla-making demonstration, you’ll get to experience the traditional way to make tortillas from scratch, starting with the corn kernel. There will be sugar skull demons in the mercado and kids can try their hand at decorating. And at the cartonería (paper mache) demonstration, you’ll see how artisans put together the calaca itself and decorate it.

10. Have fun!

OMCA’s Days of the Dead community celebration is one of the most popular Días de los Muertos events in the Bay Area. From the live performances, hands-on activities, mercado, food trucks, and so much more, there is something for everyone. Bring your friends and family to pay homage and celebrate lost love ones as we come together as a community for this healing tradition.

The 24th Annual Days of the Dead Community Celebration takes place on Sunday, October 21, 2018, from 12 pm to 4:30 pm at the Oakland Museum of California. Tickets are available online.


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