History, art, culture and tradition come together in Día de los Muertos, which will go down throughout the upcoming weekend. From gallery gatherings and family-friendly celebrations to cultural workshops and cocktail parties, Day of the Dead attracts city-wide attention across multiple days of great events and celebrations. You can find them all in our online Westword calendar, but here are our top ten ways to celebrate this spirited holiday.
10)El Dia de Los Muertos -- A Celebration of Life! Chicano Humanities & Arts Center Now through November 1 Although CHAC has already held its Dia de los Muertos parties, the accompanying exhibit will be up through Saturday, and it's a great way to get a look at some of the area's best artists, including Daniel Luna and Bob Martinez.
9) La Muerte Tiene Permiso Exhibit Mexican Cultural Center Now through November 7 Free This exhibit is a rich historical and cultural look at Día de los Muertos through the work of Jose Guadalupe Posada, a well-known Mexican turn-of-the-century printmaker. Featuring Calaveras (skeletons) in a revolutionary and political context, Posada's work is both entertaining and educational. The gallery is also decorated with traditional altars and other symbolic elements of the holiday.
8) Tri-Institutional Día de los Muertos St. Cajetan's Event Center Thursday, October 30 Free The three colleges on the Auraria Campus come together for this free, all ages Día de los Muertos celebration featuring live entertainment, cultural workshops, face-painting, refreshments and more. Traditional dance group Sabor Latino will be performing, and there will also be Lost Tribe spoken word and more entertainment.
7) Día de los Muertos in the Mortuary Goldyn Thursday, October 30 Free Join one of Denver's premiere couture boutiques in a celebration of magic and mysticism. Guests are invited to bring a dish to share during this cocktail hour gathering, where they can enjoy tarot readings, altar displays, new work by artist Axel Geittmann, an installation by Impromptu Company and a special set from psych-rockers Tjutjuna.
6) La Ofrenda de los Muertos: Honoring Days of the Dead Exhibition and 14th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration Longmont Museum and Cultural Center Saturday, November 1 Free This long-running tradition at the Longmont Museum celebrates Día De Los Muertos with traditional music and dance, sugar-skull decorating, paper flower-making, face-painting and more; food trucks will also be on hand. And guests can also take in the museum's La Ofrenda exhibit, featuring photographs of Día de los Muertos celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico.
5) Día de los Muertos Denver Botanic Gardens Saturday, November 1 Free with Gardens admission The party starts with a family-friendly celebration during the day featuring such projects as sugar-skull decorating (while supplies last), paper altar construction with Museo de las Americas, papel picado necklaces, face painting ($5 extra) and more. There's a community altar exhibition, and in the afternoon La Danza Guadalupana Matachina will lead costumed processions.
Calvera Ball ¡Viva la Muerte! Denver Botanic Gardens Saturday, November 1 $60 In the evening, the Grdens will host an interactive cocktail party for adults with live art and music, beautiful traditional altar installations and more. Guests are encouraged to dress for the occasion; they can also get their faces painted on-site. This event is indoors; the Gardens will be closed for the evening.
4) Dead Man's Party with Russ Pouliot, Throttle Bomb, 9 Volt Fatale and more Mutiny Information Cafe Saturday, November 1 Free/donation Enjoy a different kind of spooky celebration as local crooner Russ Pouliot regales guests with his classic singing style, alongside a line-up of raucous punk and rock bands. The former X-Factor contestant is throwing his own kind of Dead Man's Party at Mutiny, so settle in for haunting tunes, get your face painted, watch some live painting and grab a cup of coffee at this great all-ages bookstore hangout.
3) Dia de los Muertos Milonga! Denver Turnverein Saturday, November 1 $10 to $15 Denver dance group Tango Colorado will take this celebration of Día de los Muertos to the dance floor. The local non-profit dance group encourages you to come in costume and full face paint for this movement-centered event.
2) 31st Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration Pirate: Contemporary Art November 1 Free Pirate has been putting on a neighborhood block party/artistic celebration honoring Dia de los Muertos for three decades; it's become a Denver tradition. This family-friendly event features Day of the Dead-inspired art and handmade altars from local artists, plus Aztec dancers, piñatas, drinks, dancing and more. There will a candlelight procession from the gallery to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church to honor the dead in the evening. See the gallery's website for a full schedule.
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1) Day of the Dead Celebration Althea Center for Engaged Spirituality, 1400 Williams Street November 1 Free The Black Actors Guild and Sisters of Color United for Education invite all families to this Día de los Muertos celebration. Enjoy snacks, drinks and music while creating your own altar and participating in other fun, arts-driven activities at this neighborhood gathering.