Murphys Dia de Los Muertos will be back on Saturday, November 4th, 2023! We’ll have traditional artisan vendors, food, drink, and a community altar in the Park, and, as always, our businesses will be displaying ofrendas honoring those who we have lost but are still with us in spirit. We’ll have your favorite live entertainment back in 2023, along with the Catrin/Catrina contest, and expand our other activities. Thank you to all of you who attended, participated, and supported the event in 2022. We hope you’ll join us in 2023!
This is a Rain or Shine Event!
Those interested in participating as a vendor may download the vendor form at:
(WE ARE FULL FOR 2023)
(Vendors and entertainers interested in participating in our 2024 celebration may contact the Murphys Business Association at email@example.com with any questions.
We want to remind everybody that this is a juried event with very limited vendor space. We accept only those vendors who are a good fit for our event with Dia de Los Muertos-themed event and offer culturally authentic artisan offerings. Halloween and Witch/Wicca themed items are not accepted at this event. If you are interested in being considered for next year’s event, please send photos of your vendor booth or items to Catherine now, and she can put you on a waitlist for next year. We welcome your interest in our event.
Murphys Community Honors the Dead in the Land of the Skulls for
Our 12th Annual Dia de los Muertos.
Join us on the first Saturday in November!
Saturday, November 4th, 2023 from 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Participating businesses will be displaying altars celebrating the lives of those who have passed on but are with us in heart and spirit on the Day of the Dead. Join us in the Community Park on Algiers to shop a curated group of artisan vendors, have your face painted, grab a drink or something to eat, enjoy traditional entertainment, and visit our community ofrenda.
Purchases of food & drinks in the Park will benefit the Murphys Community Club, which is responsible for maintaining and improving our lovely park along the creek. The Park will also be the location of our Community Altar, where everyone is welcome to contribute a remembrance of a loved one. We will end the event with a blessing and ritual burning of any items left at the altar at the end of the day.
We encourage you to dress in your best Catrin & Catrina attire. The contest will be back this year at 4 pm, along with a cash prize. Please sign up at our information booth in the Park prior to 2 pm on the day of the event and pay the $10 entry fee. Kids are free and need not sign up in advance; just bring them to the Park before 2 pm so they can get in on the action. You may wish to view the photos on this page and on our Facebook page to get a feel for the best traditional garb. Halloween, Witch & Warlock style costumes are not culturally respectful and cannot be included in this pageant.
Download the program and schedule from the links below. You can expect all your favorite ofrendas to be back this year, including the Children’s Altar at the Tanner Tasting Room, the Men’s Altar at Gossamer Cellars, the Women’s Altar at Bodega del Sur Winery, and altars recognizing some of the music legends we’ve lost recently at Jazz Cellars, Milliaire Tasting Room, & Art on Main. Other popular altars include the Donner Party Altar at the Newsome Harlow Tasting Room, the Chef’s Altar at Creative Cookware and the elaborate altar at Gabby’s Mexican Restaurant. Ironstone Vineyards will be participating with an altar at their Winery just a short drive from the Park out Six Mile Road.
This ancient holiday traces its roots back to the indigenous cultures of Mexico, Latin America, and Europe but has become inextricably intertwined with the Catholic observance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day over time. Although this celebration is associated with the dead, it is traditionally a period full of life, happiness, color, food, family, and fun. In Mexico, outdoor markets display and sell symbolic items like a special bread, pottery, baskets, candles, paper puppets, candy skulls, and flowers. Skeletons are also an important symbol of this day and are displayed hugging, dancing, and laughing in shop windows and on street corners.
Traditional activities are believed to “welcome the souls of the dead.” The souls are said to return each year to enjoy the pleasures of the life that they once had. These souls are thought to return as spirits from another world to be with their loved ones for a few brief hours. A widely held belief is that the souls of children (angelitos) return first, so food and gifts appealing to children are set out for them. The adult dead are said to return a day or two later, and their favorite items, as well as elaborate food and drink, are set out for them as well. It is believed that candlelight, as well as the scent of marigolds and copal incense, will help the ghosts find their way back home.
The public is welcome to participate in the remembrance of loved ones by contributing items to the altars. Add to the Community Altar located in the Park or contact the business owner whose altar you would like to contribute to make sure there is an appropriate space for your item. Most altars honoring groups such as children, firefighters, and public figures will welcome your contribution. Those honoring a family member or friend are likely to limit contributions to items from the person’s family and friends.
Just remember that the items left at the Community Altar in the Park after 4pm will become part of the final blessing to be administered by Leanne “Snow Bear” Saldana with the participation of cultural dancers, and all items will be burned as a part of the blessing ritual. Please pick up any photos or items you wish returned prior to 4pm.
Additional information on the history, traditions, and beliefs associated with the Day of the Dead can be found on the mexconnect website.
Thank you to our 2023 major sponsors who make this event possible:
Bodega del Sur Winery
Books on Main
Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed
Calaveras Visitors Bureau
Cedar Creek Realty
Gabbys Mexican Cuisine
Marisolio Tasting Room
Michelle Plotnik, Architect
Sierra Nevada Adventure Company
Sierra Hills Market & Natural Food Store
The Spice Tin
Please thank them when you stop in next time.
Black Sheep Winery
Murphys Historic Hotel
The Man Cave
Those who wish to help support the event may download our 2023 day of the dead form FINAL for event participants, ofrendas, and sponsors.
The Murphys Day of the Dead Celebration (Dia de Los Muertos) is hosted by the Murphys Business Association in partnership with the Murphys Community Club and the participating businesses of Murphys. We thank all the participants, entertainers, vendors, and volunteers who make this event possible each year.