Dia De Los Muertos 5k in Clovis

(Photos courtesy of Race Director Jesus Campos)

October 20, 2023 – On Sunday October 29th there will be a 5k run (or walk) in celebration of Día De Los Muertos—Day of the Dead.

According to The Mexican Museum of San Francisco (in association with the Smithsonian Institution), “In Mexico, death rites date from pre-Hispanic rituals represented in murals, painted pottery, monuments, and artifacts, which shows how the Day of the Dead has its origins in the rituals practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Its precedents date to more than 3000 years ago when the Olmecs and subsequent Toltecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Maya, and Aztecs honored death.”

“Those who passed are alive in our memories. A continuous echo that at certain occasions becomes louder. As the only answer to many of our questions, death is an integral part of life, and the living and the dead meet on this day to emphasize the importance of death in the cycle of life,” states The Mexican Museum.

“Día de los Muertos acknowledges the symbiotic relationship between life and death. El día de Los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and November 2nd, in which the spirits of the dead are believed to return home and spend time with their relatives on these two days. To welcome them, the family build altars in their honor. These altars have a series of different components that vary from one culture to another that mostly include yellow marigolds, candles, photos of the deceased ones, papel picado or cut tissue-paper designs, as well as food and beverages offerings for the dead.”

The 5k will take place on the Clovis Sugar Pine Trail, south of Railroad Park (210 W Alluvial Clovis, CA 93611). The main 5k will start at 9am, but the kids races will start right before. Make sure to arrive early if you have children participating. More information on the website. 

This is a special celebration for Día de los Muertos, so participants are encouraged to dress in their Día de los Muertos makeup and costumes.

There will be a Día De Los Muertos Altar, participants can bring a copy of a photo of a loved one who has passed away, flowers, or food for the altar. The altar will be a decorated table displayed near the finish line.

All items for the altar should be brought on bib pick up on Saturday, October 28th. Photos should be 5″ x 7″ or smaller and make sure you pick up photo and items before leaving on race day.

All participants get tacos!

There will be traditional pan de muerto bread and champurrado (hot chocolate) in addition to music and folklorico dancing. 

Skulls or calaveras are a common decoration on Día De Los Muertos. “The skull imagery is deeply influenced by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada’s famous etchings and illustrations of the Calavera Catrina—a female skeleton attired with a plumed hat,” states The Mexican Museum.

At the 2023 Clovis Día De Los Muertos 5k, you’ll have the chance to take a photo with “Catrina”. 

Unique Día De Los Muertos medals and awards given out to participants and winners.

Walk-up registration and packet pick up is on Saturday, October 28th from 2:30pm to 5:00pm at Fleet Feet in Fresno.

Additional Race Day Registration & Packet Pickup will be on race day between 7:45-8:45am at the race location. 

To sign up, open your web browser and search for “Día De Los Muertos 5k Clovis Ca”. Click the link to the website runsignup.com titled DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS 5K RUN/WALK.

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.