SLIDESHOW: Dia de Los Muertos Takes Over Large Swath of First Street

A Día de Los Muertos procession walks down First Street toward Self Help Graphics and Art. The procession is part of Self Help Graphics and Art's opening of for their Day of the Dead celebration, which on Friday was their 39th anniversary. Kris Fortin/LAStreetsblog

Two celebrations on Friday in Boyle Heights that commemorated the dead were done for the most part separate from each other. Yet, what was made out to be a celebration to commemorate the dead, turned into by accident the Eastside’s first informal but functioning art walk.

Eastside Luv Wine Bar y Queso’s seventh annual Día de Los Muertos celebration on First Street and Mariachi Plaza closed off the adjacent streets to traffic and filled it with music, art, and street food vendors. The fenced off beer garden next to Eastside Luv was filled to capacity at 11 p.m., and live painting by Robert Vargas kept a consistent crowd around him.

Around 5 p.m., calavera face-painted people, bicyclists, and paper machete puppets gathered at the west edge of the mariachi plaza celebration for Self Help Graphics and Arts Day of the Dead procession. After a brief ceremony, the group walked along the First Street sidewalk to SHG&A.

As apposed to the recently ended CaminArte, which centralized art vendors at Mariachi Plaza, people on Friday walked back and forth five blocks from both events. It was also convenient for people to catch the Gold Line from Mariachi Plaza to Pico Aliso Station, which is right in front of SHG&A.