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2023 Dia de Los Muertos event at the Hanford Mall.Dia de Los Muertos in Hanford

It is that time of year where HMTC begins decorating the Hanford Mall for the Dia De Los Muertos event on November 2, from 4-8pm. The food court will become a stage for mariachi, Aztec dancing, folklorico by Imelda Sanchez-Arias from Riverdale, and PATYS’ Dance group. What is new this year is the Unity Drum Circle from Visalia with Tino Rayos. Some of you will remember Tino did his award-winning poetry at last year’s event.

The Food court will be decorated with papel picado and paper flowers and will centralize most of the event’s entertainment. A stage is ready for the dancing and music.

A storefront has been selected for the community altars. Our Cantinas will be back and dressed in their finery for the public. Find this exhibit next-door to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

My favorite preparation is the dressing of the Catrinas. What is a Catrina? It’s a dressed-up skeleton in finery. This representation gives homage to Jose Posada who originated the first printing impression of a fancy dressed skeleton he called La Catrina. This later became a symbol for Dia de Los Muertos worldwide.

Mark Saltzman, a grief counselor from Michigan comes every year to the event. He said what separates Dia de Los Muertos from Halloween is that Dia de Los Muertos makes us remember with love those who passed before us. It isn’t gory, or meant to frighten, but to give peace. He recommends the event.

Again, the Wall of Remembrance will be there for people to write the names of loved ones who have passed. The Wall of Remembrance will be manned by four children who currently take acting classes.

Vendors and altar (or ofrenda) makers are welcomed to participate. So are volunteers. An easy application is available on

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