Your Guide to Celebrating Day of the Dead In Arizona

By Araceli Cruz

October 18, 2021

To learn more about Day of the Dead and to participate, check out some of these events around the state.

Day of the Dead, the annual celebration in which Latinos honor their loved ones, is fast approaching. Last year, Day of the Dead festivities were, for the most part, canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, this year, with the decline in coronavirus cases and the increase in vaccination rates, Day of the Dead celebrations are back on! 

What is Day of the Dead?

But first, for those unfamiliar with Day of the Dead, let me explain what this yearly ceremony is all about. Día de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—is an age-old Latin tradition with deep religious and spiritual roots. 

While the tradition is mostly celebrated in Mexico and Central America, communities worldwide have taken on the colorful and rich celebrations of commemorating the dead. The holiday is celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2; however, Day of the Dead festivities begin Halloween week in the US. 

Part of the festivities includes creating elaborate altars, participating in processions, and, more importantly, honoring this Latino tradition with respect. 

Your Guide to Celebrating Day of the Dead In Arizona
This is a Day of the Dead altar located in the historic city center of Oaxaca, Mexico.

To learn more about Day of the Dead and to participate, check out some of these events around Arizona: 

Where to celebrate Day of the Dead: 

Tucson Dia de los Muertos Fest

Oct. 30, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Come with all your family to showcase and celebrate our Mexican culture and traditions in the community. Hosted by Guadalajara Grill.

Guadalajara Grill East

750 N Kolb Rd.


More info:

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Celebration

Oct. 30, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fundraiser to benefit Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary. The event is to honor the equines and people we’ve loved and lost throughout 17 years of equine rescue. Live music and after dinner, dancing with Miguel “Mambo” De Leon and the Ala Mode band. There will also be silent and live auctions.

Longhorn Grill and Saloon

28851 S Nogales Hwy.


More info:

Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos at the Pinal County Historical Museum!

Oct. 31, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Dance to the music of Mariachi Luz de Luna, enjoy Folklorico dance, and special guest Zarco Guerrero, well-known performer, storyteller, musician, and artist. Zarco will tell the story of Dia de Los Muertos through six characters. Hands-on activities for the whole family will include making shoebox ofrendas (altars), traditional Mexican paper flower making, candle wrappers, mask making, and more. 

Pinal County Historical Museum

715 S Main St.


More info:

Candlelight Día De Los Muertos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead

Nov. 1, beginning at 7 p.m.

Enjoy an intimate ambiance in a beautiful venue bathed in candlelight, and a string quartet performing classical pieces to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Beverages will be available for additional purchase. $55

Nile Theater 

105 W Main St.


More info:

Sugar Skulls & Tequila on Day of the Dead

4 pm to 7 pm, Nov. 1

Come and celebrate Day of the Dead by decorating sugar skulls, learning about tequila, enjoying cocktails, and snacking on appetizers.

Nando’s Mexican Cafe

1890 W. Germann Rd.


More info:

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Community Experience

6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 1-2

Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead has become a symbolic ritual of Mexican culture. For two days (Nov. 1 -2) families and friends unite in these festivities honoring the life of loved ones who have passed. The most iconic tradition is the building of the altar, or ofrenda. This colorful centerpiece is a demonstration of respect and love for the deceased. Tradition decorates these altars with candles, Marigold flowers, photos, and favorite items, these offerings / ofrendas become a place of healing and honor.

Luna Culture Lab

803 East Washington St.


More info:

Noche para los Niños

6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Nov. 4

The Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park will be transformed into a festive Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration for adults to benefit Kids in Focus mentoring programs for at-risk youth. Attire: Day of the Dead theme – Black attire with festive splashes of color If inspired, come with faces painted in sugar skull tradition.

Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park

1300 N College Ave.


More info:

8th annual Phoenix Día de los Muertos celebration

10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 7

The family-friendly celebration is free to the public. A donation of canned goods is suggested, which will benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank as they prepare to serve the community in need during the holiday season. As part of the event, there will be a Día de los Muertos procession. The procession will start at 12:45 p.m. outside the Basilica, head west to Third Street, then north up to Van Buren and enter the grassy area near Fifth Street. Attendees also are encouraged to bring photos of their loved ones to place on the altars around the fountain in the center of the plaza.

231 N. Third St.,


More info:


  • Araceli Cruz

    Araceli is Copper Courier's social media manager. Her past work has been published in The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Mic, The Cut, Zora, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and others.



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