Families and friends of AltaMed gathered together under the 2019 November sky to celebrate Día de Muertos or, in English, “Day of the Dead”. A day designated to the celebration of life and death, it is observed with vibrant colors that bring the departed back to life to partake in the ultimate family gathering. Sugar skulls, festive music, transcendent aromatic foods, bright marigold flowers, and Calavera painted faces go on parade on this All Spirits Day.
Bonelli Park is traditionally the home of the annual company picnic for AltaMed employees. Indeed, it is one of our own favorite locations due to its enormous size, large flat grassy areas, and tall shade trees. The view and breeze from this Southern California lake also add to its charm. But even this massive park could not provide parking needed for an event this size. Our event planners had to turn to another venue to find a solution for parking.
Shuttles Ran All Day
Games & Activities
Largest Family Day Ever
This Día de Muertos themed company picnic had the biggest turnout yet (and we only registered the living!) with nearly 7,000 people RSVPing! This picnic was so large parking had to be held off-site with several shuttles running non-stop all day to bring people to the festivities. The warm aromas, vivid colors, boisterous laughter, and living skeletons with their faces painted was sure to bring thousands more spirits to join in the largest ever work-sponsored Family Day.
To keep the lines down, we registered only the living souls that entered the event. Even so, we needed several stations and our digital registration services in order to make the process swift and easy. Seven extra staff armed with hand-held iPads and our newest registration software got guests through the line while eager children eyeballed the many entertainment options surrounded by fun decor.
On Your Feet!
Laced tennies, rolling strollers, and cameras in hand – these employees and their families had a lot to do! Carnival games with prizes swaying in the wind challenged adults and their children. Human-sized foosball turned humans into foosers who could be completely immersed in the game on the life-sized table. Was that the wind pushing the ball into the corner or a spirit getting into the game?!
The Sports Spirit
Sports lovers competed at the Soccer Kick, Fast Ball, and Football Toss stations. Additional basketball, kickball, and football inflatables were included to keep everyone in the game. All-new inflatable interactives such as the Reaction Attraction (a life-sized Simon Says game where players must run to each side of the four-walled inflatable room to press the button) and the multi-purpose Basketball, Dodgeball, Soccer, Volleyball, Boxing, and Jousting center.
For the Kids
For the kids, bounce houses like Princess Castle, Blue Ice Castle, and Palm Tree Tropical Bouncer were included. Play centers and obstacle courses like the Rocky Island and Tiki Slide kept people climbing for success. And carnival rides like the Swinger kept everyone having a fun time.
Rest Your Bones Awhile
The fleshy skeletons and weary bones were able to take a rest while getting their faces painted by any one of 10 airbrush artists. By the lack of fresh faces on the return shuttles later that day, they were kept very busy!
Another 10 caricature artists let guests take a seat while they were rendered immortal on paper. Families added a new kind of portrait to their collection with these custom, hand-drawn pieces of art.
Día de Muertos Momentos
That wasn’t the only memorial for families, however. They could also get a print from the Oh! Snap photo station complete with a Día de Muertos background/foreground and props. There was also a fun marigold option as well and plenty of photo opportunities for selfies and cell phone shots throughout the park thanks to the festive decor.
The crafty took their place at the craft table among the kids to help decorate treat bags to hold their portraits, prizes, and novelty foods like fresh kettle corn. It also served as a safe place to hold the raffle tickets for the big prizes!
Las Marionetas En Desfile
The Las Marionetas En Desfile (Marionettes on Parade) drew a huge crowd under a shade tree for their fiesta show that taught about some of the traditions of Latin America and some common important Spanish words. Set to lively and passionate Mariachi and South American music, guests learned about Cinco de Mayo, Día de la Patria (September 16th- Independence Day), Día de Muertos, and other Latin traditions. Children especially loved the fun puppets which included high-quality skeletons, floating ghosts, dancing flowers, and more!
For the weary AND hungry, the extensive buffet was open for anyone (living or otherwise) with an appetite.
Festive, fun, and fantastic food was laid out under the canopy of the six food stations. Several double-barrel, wood-burning BBQs were fired up and grilling fresh, on-demand Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers,All-Beef Hot-Dogs, Veggie Burgers, tender Carne Asada, fresh Pollo al Carbon, and Black Bean and Butternut Squash Tacos on request.
Condiment & Salsa Bar
There was a separate condiment bar for the burgers and dogs that included all the favorites (like ketchup, mustard, homemade chili, onions, and more) as well as a Mexican condiment station. The fresh homemade salsa bar would please even the greatest of grandparents! Pico de Gallo, Green Tomatillo, Red Chili de Arbol, Guacamole, Cilantro, Sliced Lime, Tortilla Chips, and Corn Tortillas lay on display with sombreros, red chilies, and other festive decors. Sides included traditional Spanish Rice and Refried Beans.
A traditional picnic fruit salad would not do. Instead, a fresh, exotic fruit salad was made with Papaya, Watermelon, Cucumber, Jicama Served with Lime and Tajin.
Novelty foods included a kettle corn station (made fresh before guests) and a variety of ice cream stations.
An Appetite for Fun
AltaMed employees and their families have developed a keen appetite for fun. Their pallet may range from bounce house to carnival rides, even shows and art are on the menu, but under it all is the love and joy they get from doing it together. We commend AltaMed for their ode to the family life of their employees and their focus on creating a team throughout their entire organization. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your special day! See you next year!