ALTAR CONTEST

Email completed application to Chris Gomez at events@downtownchulavista.com.

Hello!  Thank you for your interest in participating in the 2nd Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration Altar Competition.  The altars are a new addition to the event and are a major part of this special cultural event.

The detailed information below will help you if you are interested in participating.

Prohibited: Selling merchandise at your altar site is strictly prohibited. Violators will be removed from the premises and restricted from participating next year.

Categories & Prizes

  • Best Altar Created by a School/Students: $500
  • Best Altar Created by General Public (Non-School/Students): $500
  • Best Overall Altar: $1,000

Only altars completed by 2:00pm Saturday, October 29, 2022 will be eligible to be judged by Judging Committee.

Judges

To be announced.

How to Apply

  1. Fill-out the Altar Contest Application.
  2. Fill-out Waiver Form and sign it.
  3. Email Altar Contest Application and Waiver Form to events@downtownchulavista.com.
  4. Once received and reviewed, we will contact you with a site map, your space number, and set-up instructions.

Prior to Applying, Read Below

  • Cancellations must be made 72-hours in advance. Those that are not in compliance of this directive will not be eligible to apply for future events.
  • We strongly encourage you to start building as much of your altar in advance of the event.
  • Please plan ahead and arrive organized.
  • Upon arrival, find your space on the map issued to you, unload your supplies, and immediately move and park your vehicle. Be mindful that surface street parking is metered.
  • You can start setting up onsite as early as 9:00am on Saturday, October 29, 2022.
  • All alters must be completed by 2:00pm Saturday, October 29, 2022 will be eligible to be judged by Judging Committee.
  • Altars can be disassembled after 8:00pm and altar space must be clear by 10:00pm on Saturday, October 29, 2022.
  • Please be respectful of the altar space by bringing large trash bags to clean your space at the end of the event. Trash must be taken with you after you are done tearing down. Those with altar spaces not left clean of trash and debris will not be allowed to return the following year.
  • The Fire Department doesn’t allow the open flame burning candles. You can illuminate your altar with battery powered candles or solar lights.
  • The altar footprint is 10-foot by 10-foot and a max height of 12-feet.
  • Electricity will be provided, bring a 14-gauge 75-foot grounded extension cord with you to connect.
  • We allot 5amps of 110v power per altar.
  • The winners will be announced at the main stage at 6:30pm by the altar judging committee.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact:

Chris Gomez – Event Coordinator
events@downtownchulavista.com

Altar Elements

One of the key elements of Día de los Muertos revolves around ofrendas, or offerings, which are created through a visual display of altar-making and grave decorating. The offerings, a main focal point of the observance, echo the dedication and distinct love that is presented toward the dearly departed. Altars can be created through a wide spectrum of dedications, depending on one’s creative desire. The altar includes the four main elements of nature – Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.

  • Earth is represented by the crop/food: The soul is fed by the various earthly aromas and flavors. Placing fruit or favorite family dishes on the altar provides nourishment for the beloved souls.
  • Wind is represented by a moving object: Papel Picado is commonly utilized to represent the echoes of the wind.
  • Water is also used for the means of purification: Water is placed in a container for the soul to quench its thirst after the long-awaited journey to the altar.
  • Fire is represented by a flickering candle or luminary: Each lit candle represents a loving soul, and an extra one is placed for the forgotten soul. Reminder open flame is not permitted.
  • Copal, Sage and/or Incense is burned to commemorate Pre-Columbian history.
  • The Cempasúchil (Marigold) flowers are known as “The flower of the dead” and traditionally blossoms in the valleys of Mexico during the months of October and November with a bright yellow color and is central to altar decorating. This flower aids the spirits to wander back.
  • Pictures are widely used in honor of the individual you are paying homage to.
  • The Skull is a common symbol of the holiday which is celebrated and represented by decorative masks called calacas. In addition, sugar skulls are also tastefully created and inscribed with the names of both the honored and living recipients on the forehead as a means to remind us of our own mortality.

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