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Area cities to observe Halloween, Dia de los Muertos

The cities of Bell, Commerce, Downey and Norwalk are among communities combining the American tradition of Halloween with the Latin American cultural observance of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) this weekend.

Other area cities are holding Halloween activities Oct. 31.

The city of Bell will conduct a series of events through Oct. 31 at Veterans Memorial Park, 6500 Wilcox Ave.

A haunted house is open from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29 for a $2 fee and from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31 for a fee of $5, which includes admission to the carnival that night.

The Dia de los Muertos program to honor deceased friends and relatives takes place from 2 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31.

Gifts, food, drinks and candies are often served by those observing the day.

The carnival, from 7 to 10 p.m., includes game booths, jumpers, a pumpkin carving contest, live entertainment, family games, music from a disc jockey, a costume contest, a dog costume contest and community altars in honor of Dia de los Muertos.

Information: (323) 773-1596.

The Dia de los Muertos program in Commerce is from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 1 at Bristow Park, 1466 S. McDonnell Ave.

On Oct. 31, each Commerce park will conduct a costume parade, contest and carnival games, beginning at 4 p.m. said Tina Fierro of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Parks are Bandini, 4725 Astor Ave.; Bristow, Rosewood, 5600 Harbor St.; and Veterans Park, 6364 Zindell Ave.

Information: Fierro at (323) 722-4805.

Martin Sanchez, a Southern California sculptor, will be a star attraction at the third annual Downey Dia de los Muertos Art Festival, to be held Nov. 1 at the Downey Civic Theatre, 8425 Firestone Blvd., and the adjacent Civic Center, reports theater manager Amber Vogel.

Vogel said Sanchez, based in Riverside, will be back with his 22-foot high “skeleton riding a bike” sculpture and a 20-foot high “Husband & Wife” skeleton couple donned in fancy hats wearing clothes made from layered tin can lids.

The all-day event is free.

Arlene Salazar, director of parks and recreation, in Downey, said the event goes from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and features food trucks, a community stage with live entertainment, vendors, arts and crafts and performers.

Information: Vogel at (562) 904-7230 or Lee Wade (951) 321-0139 or via email to lee@diadelosmuertos@gmail.com.

Norwalk’sannual Halloween Festival uses the Dia de los Muertos theme from 5 to 9 p.m. on the Civic Center lawn, 12700 Norwalk Blvd.

There are game and food booths and Dia de los Muertos displays.

Information: (562) 929-5702.

Downey will also conduct its Pumpkin Patch celebration Oct. 31 along with a number of other area cities offering the traditional American style program on either that night or Oct. 30.

In Bellflower and Whittier, local merchants will provide the Halloween activities.

Downey’s Pumpkin Patch program takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. at Apollo Park, 12544 Rives Ave.

There are costume contests for various age groups from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., carnival games, free popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs and drinks; a photo booth, a pet costume parade at 7:45 p.m., a glow walk and a balloon animal artist.

It is co-sponsored by the Downey Optimist Club and Soroptimist International of Downey.

Dogs must be on a leash. Children are advised to bring bags for treats.

Information: (562) 904-7223.

The Cudahy Parks and Recreation Department conducts a Halloween Carnival from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Clara Expansion Park, 4835 Carla St. There will be a coloring contest, carnival games, a costume contest in various age groups and candy treats distributed, said spokesperson Victor Santiago.

The Huntington Park Parks and Recreation Department conducts its event beginning at 3 p.m. Oct. 31 at Keller Park, next to City Hall, 6550 Miles Ave.

Admission is free for a haunted house, a costume contest divided into age groups and an outdoor movie, said Parks and Recreation Director Josette Espinosa.

Information: (323) 584-6218.

The Paramount Parks and Recreation Department will conduct its program at 6 p.m. Oct. 31 at Paramount Park, 14400 Paramount Blvd. There will be costume contests and live entertainment, including folklorico dancers.

Information: (562) 220-2121.

The Santa Fe Springs Department of Community Services, Parks and Recreation offer tours of a haunted house from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29 and from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31 at the Activity Center, 11155 Charlesworth Road.

Cost is $4 for those age 12 and under and $5 for ages 13 and up.

Information: (562) 863-4896.

A Halloween Carnival takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in nearby Los Nietos Park, 11143 Charlesworth Road. There will be games and crafts, photos for $2 and food for purchase, along with a visit to the Haunted House.

Costume parades for various age groups are held beginning at 6:30 p.m. and at 7:45 p.m. there will be a contest for the best-dressed pets. Pets, must be on a leash or properly secured, a city spokesperson said.

Information: (562) 863-4896 or visit www.santafesprings.org.

The South Gate Parks and Recreation Department will conduct programs beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 31 at South Gate Park, 4900 Southern Ave.; and Hollydale Community Park, 12221 Industrial St.

There will be carnival games, a costume contest, bouncers, train rides and treat bags, a spokesperson said.

Information: (323) 563-5443.

Merchants in the Whittier Uptown Association will conduct their annual Halloween Capers from 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 31 with events based at a city-owned vacant lot at 6724 Greenleaf Ave., where there will be vendor booths, costume contests, a photo booth and children’s activities.

Association members invite youngsters to trick or treat at various participating stores as well as offering shopping and dining to parents, said Christopher Magdosku, acting director of public works.

Information: (562) 567-9430.

In Bellflower, the Chamber of Commerce will sponsor activities Oct. 30. Admission and participation in the events are free. Trick and treating is offered from 4 to 5 p.m. on Bellflower Boulevard between Flower and Oak streets by participating merchants.

Carnival activities take place at the Town Center Plaza on Belmont Street east of Bellflower Boulevard until 7 p.m.

No masks are permitted and children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult, a chamber spokesperson said.

A costume contest takes place at 6:30 p.m. There will be carnival games conducted by local churches, vendors, train rides sponsored by RailMaster Hobbies, music conducted by local churches, popcorn and cotton candy.

Information: (562) 867-1744 or email to Bellflowercoc@juno.com.