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Forest Lawn cemetery wants to be the top destination for Latinos on Dia de los Muertos

LatinaLista — The name “Forest Lawn” is world renown as the final resting place for Hollywood’s greatest names in show business. Yet, Forest Lawn isn’t a typical cemetery.
With nine separate cemeteries throughout Southern California, Forest Lawn also is known locally for holding special community events on their grounds. They even have museum exhibits for people to come and see.
So, it’s not surprising that the management team at Forst Lawn would realize that they were missing out on one of the biggest community events for Latinos — and a natural for their business — Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.
Dia de los Muertos is the annual observation on Nov. 2 among Latino families as a day to remember their loved ones who have passed on. Usual celebrations involve families visiting cemeteries loaded down with balloons, picnic baskets and more as they spend the day graveside of their deceased loved ones.
For the first time in its history, the Forest Lawn-Covina Hills branch will hold the 1st Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration.
The ten-day celebration begins on October 24, 2010, with the opening of a special Dia de los Muertos art exhibit by artist Ofelia Esparza, widely known for her Dia de los Muertos alter installations. An artist’s reception inside the memorial-park’s Mausoleum of Christian Heritage kicks off the event.

The festivities conclude on Tuesday, November 2, with the Dia de los Muertos Mass from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., followed by refreshments until 9:00 p.m.
The mass will feature an altar designed by Ofelia Esparza, and will take place in front of the Life of Christ mosaic, the largest religious mosaic in the Western Hemisphere. Guests are welcome to bring photos to display at the altar.

“We’re delighted to bring this important cultural event to the Latino community, providing the opportunity for them to celebrate and honor their loved ones,” said Shawna de la Cruz, vice president of Forest Lawn-Covina Hills.

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