The second annual Dia de los Muertos last Saturday, hosted by the Galt Arno Cemetery District, was a huge success, drawing hundreds more people than last year.

“It was so wonderful to see the families who came out and spent the day,” District Manager Belinda Ellis said. “The day was truly a day of remembrance as families and friends paid tributes to deceased loved ones. There was a feeling of happiness over the cemetery.”

The local celebration included a Mass, officiated by Father Miguel of St. Christopher’s Church, car show, entertainers, food and, of course, family altars throughout the cemetery.

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday honoring loved ones who have died. People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of their lost loved ones, often building altars containing pictures and memorabilia of the deceased, as well as the loved one’s favorite foods and beverages.

The thought is that the souls of the deceased will be drawn to the familiar items on the altars and will be present to hear the prayers and comments of the living that are directed toward them.

At this year’s Galt event, families could be seen visiting loved ones’ graves, whether there was a full altar or not.

According to Ellis, she estimated over 800 people visited the event, with 300 people attending the Mass.

In addition to over 25 family altars set up as part of event displays, many other families set up altars at their loved one’s gravesite.

YOLOTL Tonantzin/Aztec Dancers, Mariachis Mexicali and Los Calaveras provided entertainment.

The car show featured various vehicles to add to the festivities, some of which included their own Dia de los Muertos displays.

“The cars that came were beautiful and amazing, it was a true treat to have them here,” Ellis said. “I hope in the years to come we have many more cars.”

Eillis would like to thank Julian Carrillo and Albert Flores from the Impala Car Club; Mike Lofton, who brought his Ghost Buster hearse; local residents Joe Vidaurry, Marty Garcia, Butch Rodriguez and Sal Pamplona; and Marcos Arvizu from Sacramento who all brought vehicles to display.

Vendors included Galt High School Floral Department, Styled with Joy, Craft Fairy, Rockin’ with Jesus, Paparazzi, and Farmers Insurance of Galt.

Food Vendors included Selina’s Catering, O.G. BBQ - Alex Gomez, and Karla Morales.

This year’s sponsors included All Season’s Funeral Home, Gonzalez Septic Service, Compadres Market, Starbucks of Galt and Michael’s Miracle Foundation.