Best Festival Orange County 2012 - Noche de Altares
Orange County is now starting to get on the map for its festivals—Goldenvoice is even rumored to want to hold a mini-Coachella at Irvine's Great Park next year. But for rags to riches, nothing beats Noche de Altares, the Dia de los Muertos celebration jointly put together by the chingón Café Calacas and the Centro Cultural de México. This year marks the 10th anniversary of its first incarnation, in a storefront that was a little bigger than a high-school classroom. Every year since has seen it grow exponentially, to the point that last year's Noche drew more than 30,000 people to downtown Santa Ana for an evening of gorgeous altares, cool vendors, great Mexican food, and bands spanning from cumbia to son jarocho to experimental rock and kiddie performances. All are welcome, but leave the Halloween costumes at home, pendejo hipsters.