The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Day of the Dead Festival vendors add fun


Aldrabot sculpture

One of my favorite things about helping to organize a large event like the upcoming Day of the Dead Festival is getting to know the participants better. The Tehachapi Heritage League event could not exist without the volunteers, artists, and dancers that help make any festival a well rounded experience. But one of the reasons a lot of people go to festivals is for the vendors. Sales and food vendors were a huge part of last year's success, and we are lucky to have most of them returning, as well as new retailers for this year.

One of the returning merchants is Aldrabots, the result of two artists combining their names and their talents to create whimsical sculptures in very different styles. Owners Shaundra Estrada and Albert Ulloa are a San Fernando Valley based couple who craft their art entirely by hand. Albert explains Aldrabots as, "Robotic sculptures made from parts manufactured for use in the electrical industry. I just Frankenstein them together in a way that makes them fun and useful".

Shaundra Estrada creates multi-media sculptures and says, "The Dia De Los Muertos pieces are inspired by my feelings and fears about death and dying. By making death part of your personal spiritual reflections it can help alleviate the fears and anxieties you have about it."

The couple agrees that participating in Tehachapi's Dia De Los Muertos Festival is a very personal experience. "The festival is more than the typical sales events we attend throughout the year. For us, it's a place to honor our loved ones who are no longer with us. It serves as an important reminder that just because someone passes from this earthly life doesn't mean they stop being an integral part of our family, community or thoughts". To find out more about their fascinating work email them at

Shaundra's Dia De Los Muertos dolls

Part of the magic of attending THE Day of the Dead Festival is due to the extraordinary location. The Old Tehachapi Cemetery in Golden Hills is one of the oldest historic sites in town, established in 1858. The Festival is a benefit for the preservation of the cemetery, which was the final resting place for so many of our pioneer families, including many children.

There are vendor and altar spaces still available, and costumes are very much encouraged. There is a suggested donation at the door, but as always, no one will be turned away.

The festival will be held at the Old Tehachapi Cemetery on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The address is 22000 Lilac St. in Golden Hills.

For information call Harry Rotz at (818) 398-5436 or email


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