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A Celebration of Life

By Teresa Kenney

Looking for inspiration for how to celebrate a landmark anniversary? Take some tips from the producers of San Antonio’s Día de los Muertos at Hemisfair (also known as Muertos Fest). Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022, the two-day festival partnered with ABC affiliate KSAT 12 for a two-hour special that aired to a national broadcast audience on Oct. 30. According to National Geographic magazine, the special introduced one of the best fall festivals in the United States to more than 100 cities across the country.

“San Antonio is fast becoming the capital of Day of the Dead celebrations in the U.S., and Día de los Muertos … is leading the way in that honor,” says Jim Mendiola, the festival’s artistic director. “For 10 years, Día de los Muertos has provided an event for the regional community to remember family members, and together, we’ve created a truly unique event with national recognition, and we look forward to sharing our celebration with a national television audience.”

The event, which has been named one of the “10 Great Day of the Dead Celebrations in the World” by USA Today and one of the “7 Best Fall Festivals” in the country by National Geographic, is held at Hemisfair—the site of the 1968 World’s Fair. It includes the tradition of lining paths with ofrendas—offerings or homemade altars that honor the memories of loved ones who have died. Other festivities include a four-stage lineup of music, dance, and poetry performances; a curated arts market; workshops; and a drum, dance, and puppet procession.