Beautiful Skeletons: Casa de Calaveras

A SoCal tradition is back, making stops in both OC and LA.

MUERTOS TIME: While October may in large part belong to Halloween -- well, and, these days, September, too -- the later part of the month and early November are very much the days of Dia de los Muertos. And while the Day of the Dead happens at the very beginning of November, celebrations full of skeletons and candy skulls and bewitching costumes and traditional dances start to spring up, in earnest, in the fortnight ahead of the official day of Dia. One constant, though, with many Day of the Dead celebrations is that they change and evolve; an altar built one year may just be for that year. Sweets left for a relative at a graveside of course aren't there the following year. And flowers wilt. That's the nature of the holiday, and time itself, but there is one Muertos merriment that returns every year: Casa de Calaveras from artist George Newnam. What once started as a smaller, private haunt is now well over a decade old and regularly visits museums and bigger attractions come late October. And this year? Casa did make and will make two stops. The first was at Olvera Street on Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28, but the Bowers Kidseum is still ahead on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4 (the 4th is a Target Free Family Sunday, meaning free admission to the museum). Love, story, very colorful costumes and paints and life-sized skeletons complete the Casa de Calaveras look. It's a true SoCal tradition now, and one that heralds the coming of November 1.

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