Ghoul Crazy

Dr. Colorado leaves no tombstone unturned.

SAT 10/29

Tom Noel is no stranger to Fairmount Cemetery, the final resting place of some of Denver's most noteworthy names. Back when he was a grad student in history at the University of Colorado at Denver, Noel -- aka "Dr. Colorado" -- worked at Fairmount, Denver's second-oldest cemetery, as a night receptionist. "It was a great job in grad school," he explains. "You know how noisy college libraries are. Dead people cause you no problems. On top of that, I could take home flowers. Although my girlfriend did get suspicious that I only brought home gladiolas."

Instead of flowers, today Noel will present famous residents of "Colorado's most illustrious city of the Dead," exhumed solely for the very seasonal Tombstone Tour. The walking, talking ghouls (played by several still-living Denver celebrities, including City Auditor Dennis Gallagher) will range from madam Mattie Silks and educator Emily Griffith to underworld-operator Lou Blonger, publisher William Byers and architect/developer Temple Buell, who designed his own mausoleum -- but didn't make it big enough to hold his extra-long coffin, which had to be put in at an angle. "It's a gaudy, black-gold marble building," Noel says, "if you want an example of bad taste."

The tour, a benefit for the Colorado Historical Society, runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at the cemetery, located at 430 South Quebec Street; the Denver Hearse Society will help provide transportation between gravesites. Tickets are $28 for CHS members and $35 for non-members; for information and reservations, call 303-866-4641. -- Patricia Calhoun

Fast, Feast
DU's Pumpkin Dash gets kids pumping.
SAT, 10/29

Face it: The kids have gotten a little flabby around the edges. Those round cheeks and fat buns were cute when they were babies, but they're older now. With Halloween approaching and the shameless gorging of candy inevitable, things are bound to take a turn for the worse.

So before your little corpses and Carmelo Anthonys hit the streets to pillage the neighbors, sign them up for the University of Denver's Pumpkin Dash. The 1K run/walk through the DU campus is sure to get their hearts pumping and their appetites raging; as a bonus, it also benefits the Denver Children's Home. Afterward, head over to a free Halloween festival, where kids can run an inflatable island gauntlet, scurry up a climbing wall and strut around in their costumes for indoor trick-or-treating.

"It's for families to be able to come and have a fun day," says DU's Ruth Brown.

A 5K run for adults starts at 10 a.m., with the 1K following at 11; costs range from $10 to $25, depending on age and registration time. The Halloween festival begins at 11:30. All this frightful fitness is based at the Ritchie Center, 2201 East Asbury Avenue. Get information at www.recreation.du.edu or by calling 303-871-4694. -- Drew Bixby

 
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