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Where to celebrate Días de los Muertos 2019

Sugar skulls, skeletons, processions, altars, fireworks, and more

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Everyone knows that Austin loves a party—especially one that involves costumes—and we wring all we can get out of October and early November, with the double whammy of Halloween and Días de los Muertos, celebrations of which in the United States this year stretch from Thursday, October 31 through Saturday, November 2.

There are many elements to Day of the Dead (actually two, and sometimes four, days), which is, as the Mexic-arte Museum website puts it, "an ancient, Mexican and Mexican American religious holiday, with a historically rich tradition that integrates pre-Columbian and Catholic customs. It is often celebrated in Mexico on November 1 and 2 (dates vary by region and may be longer) in connection with the Catholic Holy Days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

"For many Latin American countries, it is a time to honor and greet the departed as they make their journey back to be with the living each year. These days are a time for families and friends to gather in celebration of life and death. The circle of life, rather than loss and sorrow, is embraced."

In other words, it's a commemoration and a party—one that includes making sugar skulls, dressing up according to different traditions, parades, music, dancing, and the all-important building and visiting of altars, ofrentes, for the deceased.

We've mapped out some places you can do those things this year, but please let us know in the comments of anything we left out. Viva la vida, y'all.

Map points are ordered west to east.

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1. El Chilito

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4501 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 369-3518
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El Chilito on Manchaca will have a Día de los Muertos festival with fun for the entire familia, featuring activity stations including miniature pumpkin painting, marigold-making, and face painting. Participants will also build an altar to celebrate our loved ones and offer #tacoblessings. Friday, November 1, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

2. Mexic-Arte Museum

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419 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 480-9373
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This year’s Annual Viva La Vida Parade & Festival took place last Saturday, but the museum’s Día de Los Muertos and Community Altars Exhibition is up through November 2.

3. ‘Rosita y Conchita’ at Scottish Rite Theater

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W 18th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 472-5436
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Based on an award-winning children’s book, Rosita y Conchita is a bilingual play about two sisters who try to reunite on the Day of the Dead.Weekends at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. through Nov. 2 , with a special evening performance on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets $10 for children ages 3-11, free for ages 2 and under, and $15 for ages 12 and older.

4. Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

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600 River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 974-3772
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A free and family-friendly affair will include an exhibit of altars (ofrendas), sugar skull decorating, face painting, live music and dance performances, food trucks, and a vendor market. Guests are encouraged to wear Day of the Dead costumes to honor the celebration of life and death. Saturday, November 2, 3-9 p.m.

5. Central Market

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4001 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 206-1000
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Central Market's Dia de los Muertos huge celebration for the Central Texas community will feature puppets, live drums, and dozens of dancers. Saturday, November 2, 6 p.m.

6. Stubb's Bar-B-Q

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801 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 480-8341
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An all-ages Día de los Muertos Music Festival to benefit Easter Seals of Central Texas will feature live music from Los Lobos, Los Daddys, El Dusty, Chicas Rock, DJ Automatic, TA, and TwztdAdio. Sunday, November 3, doors at 4 p.m. Tickets $25 in advance; $30 at the door, plus applicable fees.

7. Krieg Fields

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517 S Pleasant Valley Rd
Austin, TX 78741

Local smoke shop Planet K is goes for the two-fer, celebrating Day of the Dead on Halloween night, Oct. 31, with a "life-affirming" and commemorative fireworks display behind Krieg Baseball Fields. The event is free and open to the public.

8. Round Rock Día de los Muertos Procession and Festival at Centennial Plaza Round Rock

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221 E Main St
Round Rock, TX 78664

The Round Rock Día de los Muertos Procession and Festival kicks off with crafts and activities for kids, art, music, dancing and food vendors. Performers include Round Rock Ballet Folklorico, Lehman High School Mariachi, Ballet Folklorico South Texas College, Alexandra Dorantes, and headliner Las Fenix. Saturday, November 2, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

1. El Chilito

4501 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745

El Chilito on Manchaca will have a Día de los Muertos festival with fun for the entire familia, featuring activity stations including miniature pumpkin painting, marigold-making, and face painting. Participants will also build an altar to celebrate our loved ones and offer #tacoblessings. Friday, November 1, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

4501 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78745

2. Mexic-Arte Museum

419 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

This year’s Annual Viva La Vida Parade & Festival took place last Saturday, but the museum’s Día de Los Muertos and Community Altars Exhibition is up through November 2.

419 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

3. ‘Rosita y Conchita’ at Scottish Rite Theater

W 18th St, Austin, TX 78701

Based on an award-winning children’s book, Rosita y Conchita is a bilingual play about two sisters who try to reunite on the Day of the Dead.Weekends at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. through Nov. 2 , with a special evening performance on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets $10 for children ages 3-11, free for ages 2 and under, and $15 for ages 12 and older.

W 18th St
Austin, TX 78701

4. Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

600 River St, Austin, TX 78701

A free and family-friendly affair will include an exhibit of altars (ofrendas), sugar skull decorating, face painting, live music and dance performances, food trucks, and a vendor market. Guests are encouraged to wear Day of the Dead costumes to honor the celebration of life and death. Saturday, November 2, 3-9 p.m.

600 River St
Austin, TX 78701

5. Central Market

4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

Central Market's Dia de los Muertos huge celebration for the Central Texas community will feature puppets, live drums, and dozens of dancers. Saturday, November 2, 6 p.m.

4001 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756

6. Stubb's Bar-B-Q

801 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701

An all-ages Día de los Muertos Music Festival to benefit Easter Seals of Central Texas will feature live music from Los Lobos, Los Daddys, El Dusty, Chicas Rock, DJ Automatic, TA, and TwztdAdio. Sunday, November 3, doors at 4 p.m. Tickets $25 in advance; $30 at the door, plus applicable fees.

801 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

7. Krieg Fields

517 S Pleasant Valley Rd, Austin, TX 78741

Local smoke shop Planet K is goes for the two-fer, celebrating Day of the Dead on Halloween night, Oct. 31, with a "life-affirming" and commemorative fireworks display behind Krieg Baseball Fields. The event is free and open to the public.

517 S Pleasant Valley Rd
Austin, TX 78741

8. Round Rock Día de los Muertos Procession and Festival at Centennial Plaza Round Rock

221 E Main St, Round Rock, TX 78664

The Round Rock Día de los Muertos Procession and Festival kicks off with crafts and activities for kids, art, music, dancing and food vendors. Performers include Round Rock Ballet Folklorico, Lehman High School Mariachi, Ballet Folklorico South Texas College, Alexandra Dorantes, and headliner Las Fenix. Saturday, November 2, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

221 E Main St
Round Rock, TX 78664