CONTACT: Javier Flores, World Heritage Office
SAN ANTONIO (October 28, 2019) – The City of San Antonio World Heritage Office will celebrate the Day of the Dead with its second annual, “Dia de los Muertos: Celebrando Las Misiones,” on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The event begins at 2 p.m. at Mission San Jose, 6701 San Jose Dr., and continues from 4-10 p.m. at Mission Marquee Plaza, 3100 Roosevelt Ave. The event is free and open to the public.
“Dia de los Muertos: Celebrando Las Misiones” will honor the legacy of the descendants of San Antonio’s historic Missions and engage the nearby community and several generations of family members who will share their family histories and memories with activities the entire community can witness and take part in.
“Dia de los Muertos is an important holiday for us to remember and honor our loved ones who have passed,” District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca J. Viagran said. “But it is also an opportunity to share our stories and learn about the people and traditions that have built our community into what we see today. It is important that we do not forget our shared history. Events such as this help us continue that legacy, especially with our younger generations.”
Beginning at 2 p.m. at the Mission San Jose Granary, event attendees can view 15 ofrendas (altars) created by descendants of the Missions to honor their departed loved ones and family legacies. The ofrendas are organized by the National Park Service at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and opened to the public on October 21, 2019.
At 4 p.m., a drum and dance procession will depart Mission San Jose and head to nearby Mission Marquee Plaza, where the day’s celebration will culminate with activities for the entire family including live music, dance performances, face painting, Calaveras, and more. A community altar and slideshow on the Mission Marquee movie screen will honor departed loved ones of San Antonio residents who submitted photos through an open call. A blessing of the altar will be performed by the Inter-Tribal Native American Group. The nearby Mission San Jose Neighborhood Association will lead educational workshops and activities for attendees to learn more about the significance of Dia de los Muertos. San Antonio-area vendors, including Bedoy’s Bakery, Grandma Emma, Stella’s Creations, and NG Prints also will be on-site selling artisan items and handmade wares.
The celebration will end with a screening of the film, “Coco,” shortly after dusk. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks or purchase items from various local food vendors including: Carnitas Don Raul, USA (featured on the Netflix series, “Taco Chronicles”), Southtown Buñuelos, and Los Locales Food Truck.
“We are proud to bring this event to Mission Marquee Plaza for a second year to create a unique opportunity that honors the families of San Antonio’s historic Missions,” said Colleen Swain, Director of the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office. “This is a true community-driven event where residents can actively participate in celebrating our city’s collective history through sharing individual stories and memories. We are also thankful to our community partners – National Park Service, Texas Public Radio, Mission San Jose Neighborhood Association, and the many families of the Missions – who worked to make this now an annual tradition.”
Nestled near the historic San Antonio Missions, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Mission Marquee Plaza is the site of the former Mission Drive-In and opened in 2014 as a City of San Antonio facility. The City of San Antonio World Heritage Office manages Mission Marquee Plaza and continues the site’s long tradition as a community gathering space by hosting seasonal events including free movie screenings, farmers markets, cultural events, music and literary festivals, and more.
More information on the 2019 “Dia de los Muertos: Celebrando Las Misiones” event is available at www.sanantonio.gov/worldheritage. More information on Mission Marquee Plaza can be found at www.missionmarquee.com.