More sugar skulls, please

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Taste the authentic cuisines that represent countries from Mexico to Costa Rica, watch Peruvian traditional dance performances, pay homage to age-old customs, or listen to live music that's rich in Hispanic and Latin cultures. It all happens during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which continues through October 15.

Overwhelmed by the choices? Check out the Latin Food & Music Festival on Saturday, September 29, at Southside Park (2115 Sixth Street). The festival features Grupo Danza del Peru, a Peruvian dance troupe that celebrates culture through movement, and Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes Sacramento (pictured above), a Mexican ballet folklorico company. Folks from La Raza Galeria Posada will also be on hand to host sugar-skull and papier-mâché mask-making stations. The festival will also feature various vendors with cuisine that reflect myriad Hispanic and Latin cultures. The event begins at 11:30 a.m., and general admission is $10. See for more information.

Another option is The California Museum's Art of Day of the Dead–Día de los Muertos exhibit—which opens Tueday, September 24, and runs through Sunday, January 5, 2014. It honors Día de los Muertos, the holiday that takes place the first two days of November and pays homage to the dead. Works by sugar-skull sculptor Rob-O, and artists John Huerta and David Lozeau will showcase the tradition via altares de muertos (altars of the dead), ofrendas (offerings), acrylic paintings and, of course, those intricately decorated sugar skulls. Museum admission is $8.50 for adults, $7 for college students and seniors, $6 for kids 6 to 16, and free for those 5 and younger.