Day_of_DeadIn Santa Maria, tri-tip is so revered that it is even presented as a hallowed offering at the Santa Maria Valley’s annual Dia de los Muertos celebration where people build elaborate altars in memory of a deceased loved one.

Indeed, “Day of the Dead,” or “All Saints Day,” which is officially on November 1, will be celebrated in Santa Maria on Sunday, November 2 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Community Center and at the adjacent Veterans Memorial Park. Here large, colorful altars are erected and decorated with photos, mementos and even the favorite foods of those who have passed.

Festive music, dancing, performances and food (including tri-tip sandwiches) are also an important part of the afternoon. Make no mistake, the Day of the Dead is alive and well in Santa Maria, and so is barbecue!

P.S. The nearby Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center is presenting a Day of the Dead exhibit featuring the work of David Lozeau (pictured here) showing through November 16.