Since childhood, I can remember attending Noche de Altares on La Cuatro. Altars lined both sides of 4th Street decorated with papel picado, bright marigolds, calaveras, candles and photographs of loved ones — all in honor of the departed.
It is a happy day for both the dead and the living. But now this 17-year-old tradition is being pushed out.
Despite drawing 40,000 each year, the event is being forced to relocate to Flower Street and Santa Ana Boulevard due to OCTA streetcar construction. It will now be held in the shadow of federal buildings near the jail, the courthouse and homeland security, all systems that we want to get away from, not look at when remembering loved ones.
OCTA claims to be receptive to the concerns of residents. But it has worked only around certain events — like the city’s 150th-anniversary breakfast. Why not the largest Día de los Muertos event in Orange County? Perhaps they are not aware of the displacement of culture that is occurring due to streetcar construction, but they should be. OCTA needs to take a hard look at who exactly they are serving because it is not to the current residents of Santa Ana.