If you are in Arizona around Halloween time, by far one of the best events you can attend is Dia de Muertos in Sedona. Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village in Sedona, Arizona is modeled after the city of Tlaquepaque in Mexico which is famed for its enormous Dia de Los Muertos celebration on November 1 – 2nd of each year.
Even though we’re north of the border, the Tlaquepaque Village Dia de Muerto’s event it’s a show-stopper and truly a must-do event if you’re in the area.
What is Dia de Muertos?
Dia de Muertos is a holiday in Mexico that celebrates and remembers deceased ancestors and loved ones. To welcome the return of their spirits on this day, those who celebrate will paint their faces to resemble a skull (often called a sugar skull) and create alteras (alters) to bring their offrendas (offerings). The offrendas are ornately decorated with marigolds, candles, other flowers, and pictures of the deceased, along with the relative’s favorite foods or drinks.
Getting to the Dia de Muertos event
The event starts in the early evening, typically around 4:00 but you will need to arrive a few hours early if you want to get a parking spot. Luckily we were on our motorcycle, so we got a spot just 30 minutes before it formally started, but waited over an hour in traffic just to get there.
What to do at the event
Dia de Muertos is an event for all ages. Tlaquepaque Village invites those who participate and celebrate the event as well as onlookers to partake in the festivities. You are welcome to bring your own picture, candle, or offering to one of their several alter’s or offrendas throughout the village. There is live music in nearly every plaza, dancing, face painting, and of course shops to stroll through.
We went to the Village twice, just to enjoy the beautiful decorations. There will be plenty of people dressed in incredible outfits, painted faces, and other fun outfits. Watching the people is fun in and of itself.
If you’re lucky you can snag a spot at one of the outside patio tables or at a restaurant to enjoy live music. There are restaurants serving drinks and food throughout the plaza and we highly recommend visiting the various shops, stores, and art galleries at Tlaquepaque.
The village spends weeks preparing for the event, decorating, and having local artists participate in a mural. The place is crowded, but it is worth it! It really was one of the most unique and incredible events we’ve ever gone to. We loved every second of it and can’t wait to go back again — this time bringing our own offrenda!