BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Thousands packed into the Kern County Museum on Sunday for a Dia De Los Muertos event to remember those who have passed on.
The event was put on by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and featured live music, lots of food, and dozens of altars paying tribute to people who have died.
"We pay tribute to my mom, my brother, and my father, and we remember these three. We remember their lives, celebrate them," said Aubrey Chavez, who proudly displayed an altar for her dad, Robert, her mom, Oralia, and her brother Ricky.
Mexicans have been honoring the day of the dead for thousands of years. Event coordinators say it is not meant to be a sad event, instead, it's all about celebrating the life of those who have died.
Nathan Benevides displayed an altar saying for his father and brother in law, who died recently.
"For us to be here and to do this proves to everybody that these guys walked this earth one day, and to us that's beautiful," he said.
Benevides's brother in law, Santos, died of a heart attack, and then eight months later, his father Lupe died of a sudden illness.
"Kind of hit with a wham-bam, but I mean we stay strong and my family is here and trying to celebrate their life," he said.
Sunday marked the 11th annual event put on by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Over 7,000 people turned out.
"I am extremely excited that all these folks came out and supported something that belongs to our culture, something that we can share with other cultures, and just celebrating the loved ones," said Jay Tamsi, the president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
"Their stories need to be told, need to be remembered, and their life lives on through those memories," Chavez said.