Holidays

The Ten Best Day of the Dead Events in Metro Denver

Though Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos is officially celebrated on November 1, All Saints' Day, Denver's celebrations to honor the deceased have already begun. Here are ten events — both adult and family-friendly, chronological order — during which you can pay respect to the spirits.

1. Día de los Muertos Celebration
6-9 p.m. Friday, October 28
Alley between Market and Larimer Streets
The Larimer Arts Association is offering sugar-skull face painting, Día de los Muertos mask making and live music at this celebration. Food trucks and community artistic altars will line the area; you're encouraged to celebrate the lives of lost loved ones by bringing a photo or small offering to place on the altar of your choice. Adults only.

2. Lola's Day of the Dead Cooking Class
Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, October 29
Lola’s Cocina
Join Dolores “Lola” Wiarco Dweck for a Day of the Dead cooking class in Highlands Ranch. The $75 tuition includes a printed recipe packet, tequila tasting and hands-on instruction for a multi-course meal. Students will also learn how to build a traditional Día de los Muertos altar and which foods honor the dead. Visit lolascocina.com for more information.

3. Offering Making for Las Almas de Muertos
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, October 29 (repeats Saturday, November 5)
Denver Art Museum
100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
720-913-0054

Danette Montoya's work is part of a four-artist series emphasizing the Denver Art Museum’s pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art collections that runs through November 14. Her debut installation, Las Almas de Muertos, explores communal rituals like altar-making to honor the deceased. On Saturday, she'll lead a workshop on how to create an offering for an altar.

4. Pirate's Day of the Dead Celebration and Día de los Muertos Makers Mart
2-10 p.m. Saturday, October 29
Pirate
3655 Navajo Street
303-909-5748
Pirate has held its Day of the Dead community party for over thirty years. This year's celebration includes a Makers Mart that opens at 2 p.m. Saturday, when you can also see the annual Day of the Dead exhibit (which closes October 30). The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with Aztec dancers and a piñata for the children, followed by a candlelit procession to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church to honor the dead. Visit pirateartonline.org for a full listing of events.

5. Celebración de Día de Muertos
Saturday, October 29
Nalanda Campus, Naropa University
6287 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder
El Centro Amistad will be hosting a free celebration at Naropa to honor the dead. Traditional Day of the Dead food “pan de muertos” will be served, and family-friendly activities include face painting, altar decorating and a contest for the best-dressed adult “catrinas” and “catrines,” or fancy skeletons ($100 for the top contender). Click here for more information.

Keep reading for more Day of the Dead celebrations.

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Lauren Archuletta is a contributor for Westword's arts section, covering Denver's health and wellness scene. Follow her work for tips on cheap workouts and which yoga classes include mimosas and beer.