La Luz Center hosted the festive annual community celebration for Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2.

Guests arrived in painted Catrina faces and costumes to celebrate the evening in the festively decorated outdoor gazebo.

Representatives from Vintage House, the El Verano Family Resource Center, Paychex North Bay, Donor Network West and the Sonoma Ecology Center were among those that created colorful Dia de los Muertos altars on display in Booker Hall beneath papel picado banners. Children created masks and pictures with art supplies from Art Van Gough and volunteers from Art Escape.

The Sonoma Ecology Center provided yellow and orange marigolds grown from seeds its staff members planted in the SEC garden in early summer. New activities this year included face painting, Dia de los Muertos theme loteria games and a display of “value words” from a Nov. 1 workshop conducted by Sonoma artist Peter Hassen through a Creative Sonoma Pop Up Creativity grant.

Guests were entertained by Mariachi Los Gallos and Ballet Folklorico Quetzalen dancers in colorful costume.

Angie Sanchez, La Luz community engagement manager, noted the turnout for this year’s community celebration was double previous years.

“La Luz is happy to incorporate culture and community into one event and it’s beautiful to see multi-generational families continuing to share and learn about our rooted traditions,” Sanchez said. She added that she is planning an even larger event next year and will launch a committee with community partners to plan the annual celebration. Save the date of Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.