Celebrating Day of the Dead in Vegas

The Day of the Dead, or rather El Día de los Muertos in Spanish, is a beloved tradition in Mexico and other Latin countries. A celebration of death, it’s a time to lovingly remember friends and relatives who have passed away. The spirits of the dearly departed are believed to visit their families on Nov. 1 – 2. Before and throughout this time, altars are built and grave sites are filled with decorations of skulls, candy and flowers. Parades are also common. Although not a major holiday, the Day of the Dead is gaining steam in Las Vegas. You can observe it in numerous ways at the city’s bars, nightclubs and restaurants as well as at several cultural venues.

Day of the Dead

Face-painted skull masks are among the common ways to celebrate the Day of the Dead. (Courtesy of photos.com)

Through Nov. 2, the urban cantina Border Grill at Mandalay Bay is offering a special Day of the Dead menu. Among the refreshing drinks designed to spread good cheer are the Blood Orange Ginger Margarita, the Deviled Margarita and the Apple Cider Sangria. You can also pay tribute to your departed loved ones by indulging in delicious appetizers (like the Black Tamales and Diablo Ceviche) and scrumptious entrées (such as the Pork in Mole Negro and the Blackened Hawaiian Walu). The Candied Pumpkin Ice Cream Sundae, made with cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla ice cream and candied pumpkin seeds, is a decadent treat to cap off your festive meal.

Ghostbar Dayclub (aka GBDC) at the Palms, which takes place every Saturday afternoon throughout fall and winter, is hosting a Day of the Dead-themed event on Nov. 2. Beginning at 1 p.m., come party with DJs Mark Stylz and Alie Layus. The rollicking good time in the lavish club situated on the resort’s 55th floor will include piñatas, confetti explosions, gorgeous go-go dancers and plenty of cocktails.

Rock 'N Roll Mariachi

Rock n’ Roll Mariachi will perform at Hussong's Cantina & Taqueria for the Day of the Dead.

Hussong’s Cantina & Taqueria inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Mandalay Bay will be celebrating the Day of the Dead on Nov. 1. The Mexican restaurant will have the full line of Day of the Dead-label craft beers brewed in Tecate, Mexico, available for $6 each. A specially concocted drink, Hussong’s Caliente Michelada, will also debut on the cocktail menu. The zesty libation made with Chili Devil beer costs $10. Colorful sugar skull-inspired face painting will be offered from 6 – 8 p.m., and you can enjoy the music – everything from Latin serenades to classic rock – of the house band Rock n’ Roll Mariachi.

Stop by Las Vegas City Hall in downtown Las Vegas at 495 S. Main St. to see the exhibition entitled “Flores Para el Día de los Muerto.” On display in the City Hall Chamber Gallery through Nov. 7, it contains artwork by more than 10 Hispanic artists who were asked to create compositions featuring marigolds. These flowers, traditionally used to decorate grave sites, are associated with the Day of the Dead because they are thought to scare away evil spirits. The City Hall Chamber Gallery is open Monday – Thursday from 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Marigold Marisol

"Marigold Marisol" by Theresa Lucero is on display in the City Hall Chamber Gallery. (Photo courtesy of artslasvegas.org)

The Springs Preserve at 333 S. Valley View Blvd. near downtown Las Vegas is having a three-day festival called Día de Muertos. Sponsored by NV Energy, MGM Resorts International, Wells Fargo and several media outlets, it runs Nov. 1 – 3 from 4 – 9 p.m. The 3,000-year-old tradition will be honored here with live theater and dance performances. Guests can listen to mariachi bands as well as delight in face painting, sugar skull decorating and an art exhibition. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 -12. Children ages 4 and under can enter for free.

Head over to Winchester Cultural Center and Park at 3130 S. McLeod Dr. on Nov. 1 – 2 from 5 – 9 p.m. The Clark County Parks and Recreation Department is presenting the 13th annual Life in Death: Day of the Dead festival. Admission is free. The event features an exhibition of various artists in the gallery as well as a display of ofrendas (or altars) built by families in memory of deceased relatives. In addition to craft sales and food vendors, free samples of special Day of the Dead bread ­(made only once a year) will be given out to attendees. Plus, there will be performances in the park each day featuring Mexican dance troupes and readings of calaveras, which are satirical poems or imaginary obituaries written to commemorate people who are still alive.


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Vegas.com. Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.