Dia de los Muertos on the Santa Fe Plaza

Dia de los Muertos on the Santa Fe Plaza

Hundreds of marigolds, colorful masks and decorative skulls fill the Santa Fe Plaza during the Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration honoring loved ones who have passed on. Savor Mexican fare served by food trucks. Stop by a glow-in-the-dark face painting booth so you’ll be ready to shine when you join the evening candlelight parade. Event takes place Friday, October 27th and Saturday, October 28th.

When the Saturday night sky darkens, the Plaza will light up with a candlelight parade, whose radiance will be enhanced by special glow-in-the-dark lighting. And as the Plaza glimmers, those who remembered to wear their dancing shoes will claim the space in front of the Bandstand to let their feet chase away the sorrows of loss.

Date: Friday, October 27, 2023  and Saturday, October 28, 2023


Friday, October 27, 2023, 4 – 10 pm on the Santa Fe Plaza

Santa Fe’s second annual Día de Muertos opens at 4 pm with festive mariachi music and traditional entertainment on the Santa Fe Bandstand, festooned with papeles picados, the colorful cut paper decorations seen at celebrations throughout Mexico. Signature Mexican foods that have enriched New Mexico’s own cuisine will be available as well as decorative items that customarily adorn ofrendas that honor those who have passed on. Expect to see brightly colored masks, decorative skulls, and hundreds of marigolds!

Saturday, October 28, 2023, 10 am – 10 pm on the Santa Fe Plaza

Be part of the Día de Muertos tradition by visiting the community ofrendas decorated by local volunteers. Get inspired by items available in an ofrenda decorating kit or sponsor and adorn your own ofrenda with memories, pictures, and other remembrances. Throughout the day, enjoy signature Mexican cuisine at a variety of food trucks and prepare for the evening at the free glow-in-the-dark face-painting booths, open from 2-8 pm.

Free arts and crafts activities for kids are provided by the Santa Fe Public Library and the Mexican Consulate for Albuquerque, which also provides a series of videos on Día de Muertos traditions. Bring a chair or a blanket to enjoy the free 6 pm screening of the Dinsey classic “Coco” shown on two jumbotron screens thanks to the Lensic Center for the Performing Arts.

Once the sun sets, the historic Santa Fe Plaza will receive an Aztec blessing before lighting up with a Glow-in-the-Dark Candlelight Parade led by traditional mojigangas, 8-foot Mexican puppets. With the Plaza aglow, live music from global musicians will fill the Plaza, reminding us to rejoice and dance with the memories of our loved ones.

Sunday, October 29, 2023, 1 – 4 pm at the Museum of International Folk Art
Día de los Muertos Annual Community Celebration on Museum Hill

Join the Museum of International Folk Art in celebrating their annual Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead program!

Enjoy an afternoon of free activities at the Museum! Decorate sugar skulls/calaveras de azucar, sample traditional Pan de Muerto and view the Museum’s ofrenda installation by local artist Stephanie Riggs.

1 pm: Enjoy a Gallery talk with Leigh Thelmadatter, author of Mexican Cartonería: Paper, Paste and Fiesta in the Cartonería exhibit.

2 pm and 3 pm: Watch  Los Niños de Santa Fe dance performances

2 to 4 pm: Book signing with Leigh Thelmadatter, author of Mexican Cartonería/Paper Paste and Fiesta.

Leigh Thelmadatter lives in Mexico City and works as a freelance writer specializing in Mexican culture. She has a regular column with Mexico Daily News and is the author of  Mexican Cartonería: Paper, Paste and Fiesta (Schiffer 2019). Her mission is to shed light on aspects of Mexican life and culture that do not get the attention they deserve.

Books will be available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

To request ASL interpretation for this event, email Patricia Sigala by October 24, at: patricia.sigala@dca.nm.gov

Event Information




Recommended Lodging

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

Tranquility, serenity, and breathtaking natural beauty greet you at this luxurious resort, dramatically set against the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Stay in an elegant casita and savor the acclaimed cuisine at Terra, the resort's five-star restaurant. Devote the day to wellness and rejuvenation in the renowned spa, with treatments inspired by New Mexico's high-desert mystic energies. Located just a few minutes drive from downtown Santa Fe, Rancho Encantado offers a private sanctuary from which to enjoy the treasures of Santa Fe County.


Rancho De Chimayó Hacienda/Country Inn

Located on the scenic High Road to Taos, this historic hacienda offers Southwestern accommodations in a serene retreat that dates back more than a century. Stay in a cozy Victorian-style guest room that opens onto enclosed private gardens, and start your day with a continental breakfast. Conveniently close to El Santuario de Chimayó, art galleries and the Chimayó Museum, Rancho de Chimayó is the perfect place to stay when you’re leisurely driving on the High Road to Taos. 7 rooms and suites.