What to Know
Saturday, Oct. 27, noon to midnight
Día de los Muertos: You've got your skull-spectacular make-up on, and flowers in your hair, and the sort of bone-tastic togs that convey a costume possibly bought on the other side of the Great Beyond? Then dance for Hollywood Forever, where one of the most major of the muertos-themed fiestas will take place. The date is Saturday, Oct. 27, "Coatlicue: Mother of Gods" is the festive focus, and Aztec dancing, beautiful voices raised in song, and mum-strewn altars will add joy, meaning, and depth to the day. Make that "half-day," for the calacas will play for an impressive twelve hours, from noon to midnight.
Día de los Muertos Festival: The San Pedro party, which marked its first half-decade a couple of years back, has become so popular that some 10,000 people are expected. Many revelers will be in full muertos grandeur, as they stroll along 6th street and the afternoon becomes the evening on Sunday, Oct. 28. The fun is free, the start time is 3 p.m., it all wraps at 9 o'clock, and a tequila garden will be part of the spirited end of the affair. This Day of the Dead party is free, but you'll need to reserve a ticket. You can do so here, merry skel-raisers of Southern California.
Anaheim Fall Festival and Parade: You want to talk about long-running larks centered around autumn happiness in Southern California? Then definitely include this out-sized hullabaloo, which will mark its centennial in a few short years. Saturday, Oct. 27 is the date, the Center Street Promenade is the hub for the Halloween-y high jinks, and a "nighttime pageant of ghosts, goblins, jack-o'-lanterns, and witches" will fill the parade's vibrant line-up. The cost? It's all free, so gussy up in your ghoulish finery and join one of our region's oldest seasonal/spooky shindigs.
Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade: Dogs are the sweet centers of their humans' lives, it is true. But on one day of the year, at least for many people, dogs also become the center of a themed costume group, if that group is heading for this ear-scratchingly adorable tradition in Long Beach. Oodles of gussied-up pups turn out, but humans in costumes, costumes that relate to what their dogs are wearing, are also a quirky sight. It's ten bucks to enter a dog, but spectacting? And oohing/aahing over the canine competitors at the Oct. 28 parade? Totes free. Yes, totes.
Boo!-nion Station: Hoping for a free, kid-cute festival where your tot can wear her costume before the 31st? And are you also hoping for some nifty stuff to do, like activities and crafts? And are you also longing for a landmark-amazing location, the kind of place that almost looks, with its vaulted ceilings and historic designs, as if it sprung from some wonderfully spooky film? You'll find it, at the landmark's first go-around of a family Halloween festival. It's happening on Oct. 27 and 28, and, as mentioned, you won't need admission cash. Just funds for lunch, and any other fun you find while pre-celebrating Halloween at Union Station.