Mezcal has a reputation as sort of the misunderstood, kind of crazy cousin of tequila. However, this delightful spirit has a rich history and is even steeped in mythology. You can get to know mezcal a little better (and also eat your weight in tacos) at the upcoming Calaveras and Corn Festival, to be held at Casa de Español (1101 R St., Sacramento). This free, family-friendly event will celebrate both Halloween and Dia de los Muertos as well as benefit two charities, Help Chiapas ( and La Familia Counseling Center ( Festivities will kick off at 11 a.m. with a family carnival featuring hayrides, a pumpkin patch, face-painting and a “not-so-scary” haunted house. The Mezcal Cantina Experience begins at 3 p.m. with food and live music from Crosswinds. There will also be an adult scavenger hunt from 1:30–3:30 p.m. For more info, go to