For the benefit of locals in the Mission who don't base their personalities on mustache wax, craft beer, and the chronic infantilization of an entire class and gender of people, we implore new Missionites and San Franciscans alike to proceed with both caution and respect this Saturday at the annual Día De Los Muertos procession.
Day of the Dead and its altars are, in fact, a way for us to honor the life of those who have passed. It's a way to remember our ancestors. It's as much about life as it is about death. It's not all about you and your mad skeleton makeup skillz.
"It's about respecting the tradition and the dead, and people are not doing that," Erick Arguello, president of the Lower 24th Street Merchants Association, explains to SF Examiner's Chris Roberts, adding that behavior in recent years has been a mix of Halloween and Carnaval. “It’s just gotten so big ... With people coming from everywhere, and the drinking ... we don’t want it to end up like Halloween and get shut down.”
Event organizer Juan Pablo Gutierrez tells Roberts that race and class have also helped fan the flames of tension at the event over the last couple of years, ever since the neighborhood turned into an elite boutique for the privileged and fussy. "They just don’t want white people involved,” he (rather unfortunately) adds. Hmm.
But whatever the color or race, you really should check out the annual Latino celebration of death. Just put the start-up talk and affected 40oz guzzling (see image above) on pause. (Indefinitely, ideally.)
The ritual gathers at 22nd and Bryant between 6-7:00 pm on Saturday Nov. 2 and marches at 22nd and Bryant at exactly 7 pm, moving along Bryant to 24th Street, continuing along 24th Street to the corner of 24th St. & Mission and back down to 22nd & Bryant.