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Festival de la Gente Set to Make Its Arts District Debut

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, October 31, 2008, at 06:59PM
Day of the Dead_1 Ed Fuentes

Alongside a completed Day of the Dead altar, Gaby Guitierriz and Nici Vaswani prepare their altar for tomorrow's Festival de la Gente.

While Thanksgiving and Christmas are for friends and family coming together, Halloween and El Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is becoming an holiday where communities gather.

Why not? No one wants to meet ghostly spirits alone.

Unlike Halloween, a day that came from a tradition scaring away the boogeyman, the Day of the Dead welcomes spirits home with altars of their favorite earthbound food and drink and artifacts from the lost loved ones past.

Now in its 9th year, Festival de la Gente is L.A.'s street fair celebrating the Mexican tradition. The festival, founded by Tony Dominguez, will this year will be held in the Arts District after a long run on the 6th Street Bridge.

The alters, bands, and Arte Calidad’s towering paper mache figures will be spirits in resident on Hewitt Street, alongside the Barker Block.

Dominguez expects around 5,000 people on Hewitt at any given time, and hopes to reach over 100,000 people attending throughout the weekend. With the dead visiting the living, or the two sides of the bridge meeting in the Arts District, or even the orgins of Day of the Dead that combine indigenous Mexican and Catholic traditions, it's about different worlds coming together.

Festival de la Gente / Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2 / 1 to 9pm / Barker Block, 519 S. Hewitt St / (213) 617-0696

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