Plan Your Before I Die New Mexico Festival Experience Today

Mariachi artwork by Sean WellsDisappointed that the Marigold Parade in Albuquerque’s South Valley was cancelled this year? You and your dearly departed can indulge in reverent revelry at the Dia de los Muertos celebration at Fairview Memorial Park on Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 700 Yale Blvd. SE in Albuquerque.

The free family-friendly celebration includes a traditional procession to welcome deceased loved ones, mariachi music, a procession of vintage cars and lowriders, traditional Mexican fare, face painting, an offrenda/altar, flowers, healers, artists, and a host of Dia de los Muertos activities. For more information about participating, call 505-933-4140.

The event starts the third annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, seven days of death positive experiences to discuss mortality and encourage planning ahead for end-of-life issues. The festival will take place November 3 to 10, 2019, with events in Albuquerque (11/3, 7, 8, 9 and 10), Santa Fe (11/6), Taos (11/3-4) and Espanola (11/5).

Most Before I Die New Mexico Festival events are free. In addition to the November 3 Dia de los Muertos event, Festival elements include:

  • Death Café conversations and behind-the-scenes tours of funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries;
  • The lively panel discussion, “Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews”;
  • A Mortuary Mall with funeral and cremation products and “Before I Die” wall;
  • Speakers, panel discussions and workshops on estate planning issues, advance healthcare directives, life after death, death doulas, pet loss, obituary writing, and other topics;
  • A panel discussion of green burial and eco-friendly funeral options.

“With Fairview Memorial Park hosting this Dia de los Muertos celebration, Albuquerque residents can continue the traditions fostered by the Marigold Parade,” said festival coordinator and pioneering death educator Gail Rubin, CT. “While nothing can replace the Marigold Parade experience, this is an exciting way to start the third annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival.”

Before I Die festivals are part of a growing social movement that fosters reflection about how we as individuals and as a society manage death and dying. The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) recognized the 2018 New Mexico Festival with their KIP Award for Best Event.

Festival Sponsors

The Before I Die New Mexico Festival is made possible by:

2019 New Mexico Festival Sponsors

Partners include the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico, The Guild Cinema, Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, Compassion & Choices NM Action Team, Beloved obituary and eulogy writing service, Tractor Brewing Company, mortality reminder website, and end-of-life planning website

Part of the sponsorship proceeds from Before I Die NM are donated to charitable partner Fathers Building Futures ( The nonprofit provides on-the-job training to formerly incarcerated fathers to reduce recidivism. They make biodegradable and kosher caskets, urns, and other wood products. A portion of sponsorship fees may be tax-deductible as charitable donations. Festival sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling festival coordinator Gail Rubin at 505-265-7215.