Day of the Dead celebrations 2014

Families visit altars on display at White Park during the celebration.
Families visit altars on display at White Park during the celebration.

This year’s “El Dia de los Muertos” seemed busier and even more crowded than previous years.

And as far as I can tell, the organizers don’t have plans to commercialize it to the point of the city’s other festivals.

Keeping it family friendly and local keeps it fun yet intimate.

IMG_9586Visitors paying their respects to their loved ones at the community altar at White Park wouldn’t have the same feel if this became too big.

From what I could see all the food vendors all did well and many sold out of food by 8pm.

"Metalachi" concatenation of the words "Metal" and "Mariachi" brought their unique sound to the festival.
“Metalachi” concatenation of the words “Metal” and “Mariachi” brought their unique sound to the festival.

This year I stayed much later so I got a chance to photograph the musicians like “Metalachi” (concatenation of “Metal” and “Mariachi”) and “Quetzal” perform.

Their sounds were very good.

Katrina Pageant winner
La Catrina Pageant winner was this young lady.

So were their stage presence and charisma.

Their banter punctuated with Spanglish brought laughter to the audience, but my ears are still ringing as I write this from my being so close to the speakers close to the stage.

Elaborate body painting which took 3 hours of one of the Katrina pageant contestants show
A La Catrina Pageant contestant shows the elaborate body painting which took 3 hours to complete

I used to keep a set of earplugs I kept in my camera bag for when I covered drag racing and concerts when I worked at the newspaper.

The rain from the day before (Friday evening) was godsent.

Temperatures were in the 70s and the air was crisp and clean.

The temperature after the sunset surprised many dipping into the low 60s by around 9pm.

Dressed with a sombrero, an audience member gives out a traditional scream "Grita"
Dressed with a sombrero, an audience member gives out a traditional scream “Grita”

Overall, I had a wonderful time this year.

I was actually surprised I didn’t run into more friends but I was on the lookout for pictures.

Please consider purchasing a print if you like my work.

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“El Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead celebrations) Riverside 2014 from Peter Phun on Vimeo.

Peter Phun Photography

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