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SF Day of the Dead threatened by city deficit

 The elimination of a grant program by the city has put the annual Day of the Dead celebration in jeopardy. 

The Marigold Project, a Mission District-based non-profit organization that coordinates the annual festival of the altars at Garfield Park, faces a $9,000 deficit in the wake of the grant's cancellation, according to Mission Local. The city Arts Commission cut the Neighborhood Festival Grant that helps support smaller community celebrations to reduce the city deficit. The grant allowed the organization to pay artists to decorate the large altars and cover the cost for dumpsters, portable toilets and cleanup. 

Permits for the event have yet to be approved by the Parks and Recreation Department, as the organization has been asked to cut down the event's footprint, according to the Bay Area Reporter. The event celebrates the dead on Nov. 2 and regularly attracts some 15,000 people.

Marigold is counting on donations from those in the community who don't want to see the event canceled.

"It's a strong cultural touchstone event for the Mission," Marigold board member Kevin Mathieu said. "I think we'll be able to raise money, but we're really counting on community contributions. It's not a tremendously expensive event."

Mathieu estimated it will only cost 60 cents per person if the expected 15,000 people attend.