Petaluma's Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebration begins Oct. 4 and continues through Nov. 4 with altars, music, dance, art, workshops, lectures and activities for all ages around town. The festivities come to a close with a candlelight giant puppet procession on Oct. 27 and a candlelight visit to the cemetery on Nov. 1.
The traditional Latin American holiday, which focuses on honoring deceased loved ones, has become a tradition in Petaluma, thanks to the efforts of the Petaluma Arts Council.
Here is a schedule of upcoming events.
Saturday, Sept. 29
In preparation for Day of the Dead, a Petaluma creativity night will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Petaluma Arts Center, 230 Lakeville St. The creativity night will be for helping prepare the large puppets for the Day of the Dead procession. Participants may also bring materials for creating a costume based on this year's theme "Wings of Life." Other traditional arts will be taught as well. Admission is a donation for supplies.
Sunday, Sept. 30
Learn to create an altar with the Quintas family from Oaxaca, Mexico. Participants will learn about the elements of an altar and ways to honor, through altar making, loved ones who have died. Also featured will be flower making and papel picado. The event is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Petaluma Arts Center. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.
Oct. 4 through Nov. 4
Fine arts exhibts and altars are on display throughout Petaluma. Illustrations of master printmakers Jos?Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla on loan from New World Prints are on display at the Petaluma Arts Center. Visit the Petaluma Arts Center for a map to altars and exhibits around town.
School-aged students are invited to create a portrait of a loved one who has died, at a student art workshop, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Petaluma Arts Center. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $5. To register, call Colors of Spanish at 782-1084.
Petaluma's Day of the Dead officially opens with music, dance and food from 1 to 4 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 35 Liberty St. The event is sponsored by the Redwood Community Health Coalition and will include a health fair as part of Health Week of the Americas.
Artist reception for Day of the Dead art show, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mail Depot, 40 Fourth St.
Introduction to Day of the Dead and an open house from 1-4 p.m. at Colors of Spanish, 55 Maria Drive, Suite 844. The event is designed to introduce residents to the Day of the Dead multi-cultural celebration.
The Petaluma Arts Center hosts an artists' reception for "Alas de Vida/Wings of Life" featuring the works of Bay Area artists and special illustrations of master printmakers Jos?Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla. The reception is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Petaluma Arts Center.
Oct. 14 and Oct. 21
A "Catrina" hat making workshop will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Petaluma Arts Center. Participants should bring small trinkets, photos, buttons, jewelry from loved ones to incorporate into the hat. Admission is $40 plus a $10 materials fee.