Día de los Muertos in Detroit

Modified: October 31, 2022 | Story by Samantha Scott | Photos by Bill Bowen, Southwest Detroit Business Association, Mexicantown Bakery

Día de los Muertos is right around the corner and here in Detroit, it’s a highly celebrated holiday in the area. With so much to take in and do, it can be a challenge to figure out what event to start with. After narrowing down the variety of options, here are five ways to celebrate the profound and vibrant tradition of Dia de los Muertos.

Mexicantown Bakery Dia de los Muertos decorations



But first, a little background…


Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities usually take place from October 28 to November 2 each year in Mexico and celebrated in Latin American countries, the US and Canada as well. The annual celebration, is a time for families to gather, honor and remember deceased loved ones. It is believed that the souls of the dead return to visit the living relatives in homes, businesses and cemeteries.

Ofrendas are also created as a way to honor loved ones with objects important to those that have passed, such as favorites foods, mementos, pictures and more. In carrying on the tradition, the dead are continued to be honored with fiestas and rituals during the harvest season as the perception of death is the beginning of the cycle of seasons and life.


Speaking of fiestas…


Detroit Institute of ArtsOfrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos

September 24 – November 6, 2022

In celebration of Dia de Muertos, the Detroit Institute of Arts, along with Detroit’s Mexican Consulate, welcomes the community to explore a special exhibition of ofrenda altars.

Objects important to lost loved ones, are collected and incorporated into elaborate displays that include pan de muerto (bread of the dead), sugar skulls, candles, flowers, papel picado (paper cutouts) and other decorations.

Ofrendas: Celebrating el Día de Muertos will be on view during regular museum hours and are included with general museum admission.

Southwest Detroit Business Association Dia de los Muertos Ofrendas

In lieu of the Day of the Dead Run, this event offers a unique way to spend time exploring Southwest Detroit both in-person and virtually. The Dia de los Muertos Ofrendas is brought to you by the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) who are highlighting all of the locations throughout the area that have an ofrenda in their establishment.


Robert C. Valade ParkDia de los Muertos on the Detroit Riverfront
Saturday, 29th October, 11:00 am

Head towards the river to celebrate Dia de los Muertos on the Detroit Riverfront. This family-friendly event includes children’s storytelling, Tres Leches N’ Snacks Food Truck, a dance performance by Ballet Folklórico Moyocoyani Izel, retail vendors, children’s activities and more, right on the water.

Masonic TempleCandlelight Día De Los Muertos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead
November 3

Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Detroit. Get your tickets now to discover Día De Los Muertos inspired music at the Masonic Crystal Ballroom under the gentle glow of candlelight.


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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  2. 2
    Hotel Saint Regis Detroit
    3071 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48202
  3. 3
    Southwest Detroit Business Association
    7752 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit, MI 48209
  4. 4
    Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
    600 GM Renaissance Center, Ste. 1720, Detroit, MI 48243
  5. 5
    The Garden Theater
    3929 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201