The 21 Best Events in Denver, October 3-9

Chandra Kuykendall and Domenico Luciano star in Dracula.
Chandra Kuykendall and Domenico Luciano star in Dracula. Allen Birnbach for Colorado Ballet
From world-famous beer festivals to superior haunted houses and zombie crawls, this city lives for fall. This week, get to know the Riverside Cemetery during a creepy photo shoot, catch Dracula the ballet (which somehow might make it more creepy), pay homage to George A. Romero, the horror-film king himself, or just enjoy one of the other parties, discussions, arts events and more that you'll find in this week's 21 best events.

Tuesday 10/3

The Den brothers are throwing a Rooftop Party! From 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, and Wednesday, October 4, the roof of the parking garage at the corner of South Pearl Street and East Florida Avenue will turn into a Japanese street fair. Not only will Toshi and Yasu Kizaki be providing food from Sushi Den, Izakaya Den and Ototo, but they’ve called on twenty of their Japanese chef friends to hop the pond and lend their talents to the bash. Expect ramen, yakisoba noodles, the hard-to-find-in-Denver okonomiyaki, yakiniku (Japanese barbecue) and lots, lots more. Tickets are $75 and include three drinks (additional beverages will be available for purchase). And this party is for a good cause (or three): Proceeds benefit relief efforts for hurricanes Irma and Harvey in Florida and Texas, as well as earthquake victims in Kumamoto, Japan, the hosts’ home town. Purchase tickets at, asap.

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Daniel Sprick
David Schler/Courtesy of Colorado Public Television
Wednesday 10/4

Hyperrealist painter Daniel Sprick has jaw-dropping talent, whether he’s painting a portrait or a plein-air oceanscape. The Denver artist is the focus of a new, locally produced documentary, Daniel Sprick: Pursuit of Truth and Beauty, that seeks to get to the bottom of what makes Sprick tick, in and out of the studio. Pulled together by PBS outlet CPT12, directed by David Schler and produced by Cynthia Madden Leitner of the Museum of Outdoor Arts and CPT12’s Joshua Hassel, the film gets its world premiere at 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 4, in Sharp Auditorium, on the lower level of the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building, before eventually airing on PBS stations. Sprick, Leitner, Schler and DAM curator of painting and sculpture Angelica Daneo will field questions during a post-film panel discussion. Admission is free; learn more at

In January 1948, 28 Mexican farm workers (including some legally working in the United States under a guest-worker program) were put on a plane for Mexico. The plane never made it; it crashed in California, killing the crew of four Americans and all passengers. At the time, only the pilot, first officer, stewardess and immigration guard were identified by name; the rest of the dead were buried in a mass grave in Fresno, with a grave marker reading only “Mexican Nationals.” Author Tim Z. Hernandez spent years tracking down and interviewing friends and relatives of the anonymous victims; those interviews became the basis of his book All They Will Call You. Hernandez will talk about his work as part of the statewide Latino Heritage Live Tour on Wednesday, October 4, at 6 p.m. at the Community College of Aurora Fine Arts Building, 16000 East CentreTech Parkway in Aurora. If you miss the free program, there will be an encore performance on Thursday, October 5, at the Arapahoe Community College library, 5900 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton.

Two weeks ago, NASA deliberately slammed the Cassini satellite into Saturn at over 75,000 mph in what it called “the Grand Finale.” It was a fiery end to the probe’s twenty years in space, but the mission is far from over. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4, Steve Lee of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will lead a panel discussion in the Phipps Theater titled Cassini: The Grand Finale. Participants will include three scientists from the Cassini mission: Larry Esposito of the Laboratory for Atmospheric & Space Physics at University Colorado Boulder; Colin Mitchell of the Space Science Institute, also in Boulder; and Peter Thomas of Cornell University. Admission is $8 for DMNS members and $10 for non-members; find out more at
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Take in Denver cemetery's in all their glory at the Riverside Full Hunter's Moon Photo Shoot.
Robin D. Brilz for Fairmount Heritage Foundation
Thursday 10/5

Followers of full-moon lore know that the Hunter’s Moon, the first to appear around the fall equinox, traditionally lit the way for hunters tracking prey after dark. But in the present, it will also provide a spooky scene for the Hunter’s Full Moon Photo Shoot at Riverside. With help from the sponsoring Fairmount Heritage Foundation, which oversees Riverside Cemetery, Denver’s oldest intact resting place (where numerous Colorado historical figures are interred), you’re invited to capture Riverside’s eerie October imagery on camera, lit by moonbeams and candlelight, for one night only. Enter the cemetery gates at 5201 Brighton Boulevard from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, October 5, ready to point and shoot. Purchase tickets, $35 in advance, on the Facebook event page or; learn more at

While brewers from near and far flock to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, it’s a safe bet that few GABF after-parties will be as wonderfully weird as the one celebrating Santa Fe Brewing and hosted by Meow Wolf. On Thursday, October 5, the folks behind the mind-bending immersive art installation will celebrate their hometown brewery by taking over the Moon Room at Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake Street, for an after-party with installations, performances and whatever sort of wizardry they can conjure up. Guests can also enjoy plenty of noshes while sampling special-release Santa Fe beers and getting down with live DJ sets. The party starts at 7 p.m. and doesn’t wind down until well after midnight. Tickets are $10 at and at the door, but they’re likely to sell out quickly, so don’t wait to buy yours.

The growing population of transplants moving to Colorado is no doubt lured in part by the claim that our state gets 300 days of sunshine per year. While that number is debatable, Denver’s still a pretty sunny place, so it makes sense that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon would choose the Mile High City to host its 2017 solar home-building competition. College teams from around the globe have been designing and building full-sized solar-powered homes for the past two years; from Thursday, October 5, through Sunday, October 15, the structures will be judged in ten areas, including architecture, water use and reuse, innovation, market potential and health and comfort. Free house tours, homeowner workshops and a sustainability expo are open to the public at the 61st and Peña commuter-rail station, at 6045 North Richfield Street, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. October 5 through 8 and October 12 through 15, and from 1 to 7 p.m. on October 9. Find out more — and get fired up about your own home-improvement to-do list — at

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Ana Campbell has been Westword's managing editor since 2016. She has worked at magazines and newspapers around the country, picking up a few awards along the way for her writing and editing. She grew up in south Texas.
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