Whole Life Magazine

October / November 2016

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"While this race is a 5K, it's really about communi- ty, culture and getting fit all together," says Michelle Lindner, one of the race organizers who works for Generic Events in Santa Monica. "We do this by working with local artists for the award medals, t-shirt designs and posters. We also partner with local non-profits to create a greater sense of com- munity." is promises to be one of the best-looking costumed 5Ks with the coolest souvenir t-shirt. SHERMAN HEIGHTS DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS CELEBRATION, OCTOBER 4–NOVEMBER 2 I f you crave an authentic, neighborhood Day of the Dead, visit the Sherman Heights Community Cen- ter during its month-long schedule of events. High- lights include art workshops, a festival, a community breakfast with traditional foods and the Noche de Mole opening night reception. Last year, about 10,000 people visited the com- munity center during the celebration, Almagro says, including guests from L.A., Orange County, Baja, Tijuana and Arizona. About 25 local families create altars inside the center. "e altars are very sacred. e families come in every other day to clean it up, and even add food and more things to it," she says. Neighbors sometimes offer their front lawns to ac- commodate altar overflow. Almagro says the most popular and meaningful part of the celebration is the community candle- light procession. "We encourage our guests to come dressed up, to bring pictures of their departed loved ones. ey join us in the procession and they walk in their memory." An Aztec dance group leads the pro- cession of about 400 people from Sherman Heights down to Chicano Park in Barrio Logan. Along the way, the group stops to bless neighborhood altars. During the two weeks of the community altar celebration, visitors are invited to drop in between 10am and 7pm. Volunteers are on hand to answer questions. If you want to arrange a special tour for your group, call 619-232-5181. "We feel very strongly that it's important to educate folks about the mean- ing of the Day of Dead," Almagro says. "More and more folks are open to what this means. It's not about drinking and partying. It's about remembering folks that have passed away. ere are no borders. We've all experienced death within our families. is is a beautiful celebration that brings all ages and cultures together in remembering their loved ones who have passed away." http://www.shermanheights.com/day-of-the-dead.html If you want to celebrate Dia de los Muertos closer to home, here are a few local events. Carrera de los Muertos, Saturday, October 29 – 5K run finishing on Olvera Street. http://losmuertos5k.com/ 17th annual Dia de los Muertos Festival, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Saturday, October 29 Spanish-language recording stars like Julieta Venegas and Alejandro y Maria Laura, traditional Aztec bless- ings and dances, and more than 100 altars. http://www.ladayohedead. com/event-info/ 3rd Annual Olvera Street Muertos Art Walk, Saturday, October 15 http://www.olveraevents.com/#!muer- tos-artwalk/q7ic6 Day of the Dead in L.A. Photos courtesy: Sherman Heights Day of Dead Celebration october/november 2016 31

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