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Niless lively celebration of birth and death

The month of October is full of festivities for cultures and regions all around the world. The district of Niles in Fremont is paying homage one such festival Ð Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. Niles will be holding its fifth annual Altar Walk, a celebration in honor of the Latin American tradition and a way for people to pay respect to their loved ones. The event will be free and open to all, and attendees are encouraged to make it a day Ð bring chairs or blankets for the grass, get your face painted, eat, share memories, and get to know each other. The Food Truck Mafia is in the process of being confirmed for the event, the Nile Cafe will be featuring Dos Tacos, and other local eateries Bronco Billys, The Vine, and Joes Corner are happy to feed attendees. Each year, a Community Altar is built that is available for all to contribute to. Those who wish to participate are asked to bring photocopied pictures, candles, and offerings to present in honor of their loved ones, ancestors, or anyone they wish to pay homage to. At 7 p.m. a ÒReleasing of PrayersÓ is conducted to end the event.

The history of Day of the Dead can be traced back to the indigenous people of the land of its origin, Mexico. The ancient belief was that on midnight on October 31, the gates of heaven opened, which allowed spirits of children to reunite with their loved ones for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of adults joined them to enjoy the celebrations prepared for them. Traditionally, an altar is made in each home. The altar is then decorated with countless items to offer as gifts for the spirits. Candles, flowers, fruits, nuts, meat, tortillas, and the traditional sweet roll - Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) - all generously adorn the altar. Candy and toys are left for the spirits of the children, and various food and drink items are left for adults. Folk art pieces depicting skeletons and sugar skulls often complete the altars.
participation for students. Various cultures have stepped forward explaining the parallels to their own traditions.

Celebration for the Arts

The Hayward Arts Council (HAC) invites the community to attend its annual Celebration for the Arts fundraiser being held in the Hayward City Hall Rotunda, Friday, November 4.

Ticket holders will enjoy a hosted Wine and Beer Happy Hour, dinner buffet, live and silent auctions, and entertainment. Auction prizes include four Warrior tickets, a full box at an As game, and tickets to a Raiders game donated by Supervisors Nate Miley and Richard Valle. Also available are vouchers for TPC Stonebrae golf course, Disneyland tickets, Arthur Murray dance lessons, Worthington Photography classes, and offerings from San Francisco Ballet, Walt Disney Family Museum, Buffalo Bills Brewery, Niles Canyon Railroad, Castro Valley Village Bowl, Chanticleers Theatre, Eko Coffee Bar and Tea House, Hayward Car Wash, and El Taquito #1. An Animal Art Auction will also be part of the festivities.

The evenings entertainment includes a Charlie Chaplin impersonator, Mt. Eden High School String Ensemble, poetry reading by Bruce Roberts, Folk Dancers led by Linda DeNike, and music throughout the evening.

Oakland Zoo hosts weekend of Halloween-themed activities

On October 29, Oakland Zoo is hosting a Halloween-themed, overnight experience called Family Sundown SPOOKfari. The program includes outdoor camping, pumpkin carving, scary stories, an eerie nighttime tour, a cool puppet show and live, creepy, crawly animals. Participants get to make ghost smores before bedtime and wake up to a hot breakfast in the morning, when they will also deliver their spooktacular pumpkin presents to zoo animals.

This event begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 29 and ends at 10 a.m. on Sunday, October 30. Pre-registration is required. There is a program fee of $85 per person and participants must bring their own tents. Meals and parking is included with the cost and campers can attend Boo at the Zoo festivities free of charge on Sunday, October 30.

On October 29 and 30 Oakland Zoo and Bay Area Science Festival are banding together for Boo at the Zoo. The Halloween and science-themed weekend features a spooky scavenger hunt for kids; monster mash dance party; up-close animal encounters; freaky interactive stations with Zoombie animals, monster myths, and sensory skills; face painting; and a Wildlife Theater presentation focused on what some consider scary animals. Family-friendly activities will take place throughout the Zoo, including a treat table where families can create Halloween goodies for the zoos animals.

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