Halloween spirits run high at El Centro’s Downtown Days

Artist Bob Diaz (right) discusses Dios de los Muertos and the role his art plays in the celebration.

EL CENTRO – The city of El Centro hosted its monthly Downtown Days October 28 for members of the community who came out to join in games, fun, shopping, and trick-or- treating in a Halloween-themed market atmosphere.

The city hosts the event at the corner of Sixth and Main streets with two blocks filled with booths selling various fall decorations, clothes and candles.

In addition to the variety of shopping and good eats, El Centro’s downtown market district presented the opportunity for families to bring their children for an afternoon of fall and Halloween activities.

Kids climbed into an inflated jump house, a market days tradition for children to play in, and also had a chance to dress up and walk around to different booths for trick-or-treating with friends and families.

“El Centro’s Downtown Days have allowed me to come out with my two children and get dressed up to trick-or-treat, and spend a good afternoon with my family,” said El Centro resident Becky Fisher.

The family fun did not end there, because the city also sponsored a costume contest for those who dressed up.

One sponsored booth presented a history lesson for those interested in the meaning behind the Hispanic tradition of Dios de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Held each year on Oct. 31, the holiday continues through November 2. This is a time when Hispanic families celebrate the life, traditions, and beliefs of their ancestry.

Artist Bob Diaz hosted the booth with the Dios de los Muertos and educated attendees about the event.

“Not only do I present my booth of art to this event every year, but I travel around to various schools and the Desert Museum to teach people about the importance and significance this holiday has on the people who celebrate it,” said Diaz.

“By acknowledging the life of those who have passed, the people who celebrate this three- day holiday are able to show their respect to the ones they have lost and keep their history alive through honoring traditions and values,” added Diaz.

After people had the chance to work their way through the many booths, including the history in Diaz’s booth, a live band took the stage to close out October’s Downtown Days.