Here’s where to celebrate Día de los Muertos in Austin

The annual celebration of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, will fall on November 1 and 2. Though the name is suggestive of something more macabre, the Mexican holiday is meant to remember and celebrate the lives of the deceased. Indeed, the festivities around the holiday are meant as a reunion between the living and the souls of deceased family and friends. 

Tradition states that the gates of heaven open at midnight on October 31, releasing the spirits of children, who can rejoin their families for 24 hours, followed by the spirits of adults, who are released on November 2. 

An illustrated guide:What is the Day of the Dead holiday?

Historians trace aspects of the holiday to Mesoamerican traditions dating back thousands of years, as well as the more recent Spanish colonization, whose Catholic traditions strongly informed the holiday. The Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, celebrated on the first two days of November, similarly celebrate the dead. 

En Español:El Día de los Muertos, explicado en gráficos

Modern iterations of Día de los Muertos take place across Mexico and in Mexican communities around the world. We’ve rounded up the biggest celebrations in Austin: 

Viva La Vida 

Saturday, October 28, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

4th Street and Congress Avenue

Mexic-Arte Museum’s 40th festival and parade is Austin’s largest and longest-running Día de los Muertos celebration. The grand procession will begin at noon, followed by an afternoon of activities, ranging from art and artist demos, traditional foods, local artists and retail booths, a low-rider exhibition, and live performances. The event is free and open to the general public.

Participation in the parade is free but requires registration

For more information visit

Día de los Muertos at Waterloo Greenway

Wednesday, November 1, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

1401 Trinity St, Austin, 78701

Taking place outdoors at the Moody Amphitheater, the stage will be transformed into an ofrenda by local Tejana florist Yliana Lara, with a special altar for deceased pets designed by artist Ernest Ramirez.

Attendees can expect free live music, dance performances, calavera face painting, a Latinx artisan market, and art activations. 

For more information visit

Performance line-up

  • 6 p.m. – DJ KICK-IT
  • 7 p.m. – Danza Azteca Guadalupana
  • 8 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico MariCruz 
  • 9 p.m. – Mariachi Las Coronelas 

Día de los Muertos celebrations, presented by Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

The two-part celebration will feature a ceremony and presentation on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Oakwood Cemetery, and a festival and MexAmericon Comic Con on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Pan American Recreation Center. Both events are free and open to the general public. More information can be found at  

Alma y Corazon Ceremony

Thursday, Nov. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Oakwood Cemetery, 1601 Navasota St, Austin, 78702

An altar designed by artist Alonso Estrada at Oakwood Cemetery, Austin’s oldest city-owned cemetery, will be presented in a ceremony, featuring a talk about the rich culinary traditions associated with Día de lo Muertos by author Mariana Nuño Ruiz McEnroe. 

Javier Jara will serenade attendees with a musical performance, who are encouraged to bring non-perishable objects (notes, flowers, copies of photographs) to add to the ofrenda. 

Complimentary hot chocolate and tamales will be served at the ceremony. 

Attendees who would like to decorate a monument should contact Jennifer Chenoweth at

  • 5:30 p.m. Viewing of Chapel ofrenda created by artist Alonso Estrada and music by Javier Jara
  • 6:15 p.m. Mariana Nuño-Ruiz McEnroe speaks about her book “Dining with the Dead” and the history of Día de los Muertos
  • 6:45 p.m. Walking tour to the Oakwood Cemetery gates at Comal Street
  • 7 p.m. Meet at Oakwood Cemetery Annex gates to walk with musician Jorge Tamayo and friends to the Herrera and Limon lots in Section C of the Cemetery, to view family ofrenda and welcome the ancestors

16th annual Día de los Muertos Festival and MexAmericon Comic Con

Saturday, November 4, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Pan American Recreation Center, 2100 E 3rd St., Austin, 78702

The 16th annual celebration of Día de los Muertos and MexAmericon Comic Con will take place at the Pan-Am Recreation Center, where guests can enjoy children’s activities, art activations, vendors, food trucks, and a collective community altar.

  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. MexAmeriCon will showcase Mexican American and Latinx artists who create comic books, graphic novels, zines and pop art. There will also be an artisan market, loteria (bingo), and autograph signings. 
  • 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Day of the Dead altars, art installations, and activities such as MACC’s large-scale interactive sculptures by Las Piñatas ATX, and live screen printing with Old School Nation, free sugar skull decorating and face painting, with performances by Tequila Rock Revolution, Monica Saldivar, and Los Alcos. 

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