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Dead honored at Dia De Los Muertos altar 

Th Dia De Los Muertos altar at Via Vega Winery.

A local winery is celebrating Dia de Los Muertos with an altar built to celebrate the dead. Visitors to Via Vega Winery have filled the altar with pictures, cards and mementos of their loved ones ranging from pets, grandparents and heartbreaking photos of babies and children.

Statues of Saint Francis, Saint Michael and traditional sugar skulls fill the altar. It’s the seventh year Via Vega Winery has hosted a Dia de Los Muertos altar. Owner April Gomez says Dia de Los Muertos was created when the religious traditions of missionaries and native peoples blended together in Latin America hundreds of years ago. “It honors the dead in a beautiful way,” says Gomez.

“We have seen this holiday become more and more acceptable in our culture,” she says. “We are happy to be a part of this very special time of remembrance.

The public is invited to come celebrate and bring a photo of a loved one who has passed. The winery’s regular hours are Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The altar was set up on October 11 and will stay up until Nov. 9, Gomez says. Dia de Los Muertos has been part of the theme of Via Vega Winery for some time.

It started with a piece of artwork a friend created in 1990. “We had no idea how popular these friendly skeletons would become,” Gomez says.

A handful of tickets are available for the annual fiesta on Saturday evening, Nov. 1, featuring traditional music, dancing and food and an altar blessing. A public blessing of the Altar will be conducted Sunday, Nov 1 at 2 p.m. Wine by the glass will be available to accompany Pan de Muerto, the bread of the dead.

For more information, see the winery’s website: http://viavega.com or call (805) 423-2190.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.