Día de los Muertos is a holiday all about honoring the spirits of ancestors. Mexicans create altars, known as ofrendas, that are dedicated to their loved ones, who are believed to come back to walk among them on this night. Ofrendas usually feature pictures of loved ones and are lavishly decorated with Aztec marigolds known as cempazúchitl, as well as food and drinks the person enjoyed.
During Old Town’s Día de los Muertos celebrations, many local businesses put out their own ofrendas which you can visit. Though it’s an unofficial part of the town’s holiday festivities, dozens of stores, museums, and historic sites practice this tradition each year, so you’re guaranteed to see a few as you traverse the streets. It’s a fun, family activity to see if you can locate them all as you do some shopping and dine at authentic Mexican restaurants.
During the 2022 celebrations, ofrendas can be found along Taylor Street, Twiggs Street, Harney Street, and San Diego Avenue, plus the El Santos Campo Cemetery. Many are near historic points of interest such as Whaley House, the Immaculate Conception Church, State Historic Park, and the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. Other notable locations include Fiesta de Reyes, Casa Guadalajara, the Cygnet Theater, and the Old Town Saloon.