Performers at last year’s Day of the Dead festival in Nelson. Photo: File.

Day of the Dead to spice up Nelson


Founders Heritage Park is set to be transformed into a Mexican fiesta this Sunday.

Nelson’s Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead festival is back for its eighth year, promising plenty of food, fun and entertainment.

The traditional Mexican event is a day when people celebrate the lives of loved ones passed. The day is not macabre or morbid, but rather a creative fiesta and a celebration of life.

The festival started out as a family-run event, organised by Mexican Nelsonian Jesus Ruiz Lopez. With the help of family and volunteers he recreated the Día de los Muertos of his childhood hometown in the south of Mexico.

There will be an array of local food stalls and The Granary will house the bar where tequilas, local craft beer, frozen margaritas, as well as typical Mexican alcohol-free drinks like Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus flower iced tea).

There will be face painting, piñatas, a chili sauce contest and dance performances including Danza mi tierra – an independent project supported by the embassy of Mexico, and Auckland based Mariachi New Zealand.

An ofrenda (“offering”) will be erected and visitors are invited to add photographs, food, drinks or a small memento of their loved ones.

Día de los Muertos is on Sunday 3 November from 12 – 5pm. Tickets are available from