The 21 Best Events in Denver, October 31-November 6

Otherworldly style will be all the rage at the Alien Life Fashion Show on Saturday.
Otherworldly style will be all the rage at the Alien Life Fashion Show on Saturday. Courtesy of Alien Life Fashion Show
This week we bid farewell to the witching season and start preparing for the holidays. That means holiday gift markets and holiday-themed theatrical performances, of which there are plenty. But don't miss everything else going on in Denver, from an alien fashion show to a Día de los Muertos celebration or two.

Tuesday, October 31

What we know as Halloween has strong connections to celebrations across many cultures, including All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, Día de los Muertos, Samhain. Four Shillings Short will evoke the latter during a performance at the Samhain/Halloween Concert on Tuesday, October 31. As you’d expect from an Irish lass and her Yankee husband, traditional Celtic and European instruments (the British dulcimer, German bowed psaltery and Irish bodhrán) will be prominent; perhaps less predictably, so will the Indian sitar, Andean charango and an obscure Renaissance contraption known as the krumhorn. The free concert includes stories from Celtic folklore in addition to ethereal musical mashups. The (free) fun starts at 7 p.m. at Bemis Public Library, 6014 South Datura Street in Littleton. Find out more on the library events calendar at

Hosted by The Green Solution and Sensi Magazine, the Gari Safari is a jungle-themed costume party for cannabis industry members to celebrate Halloween together. Kicking off at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, at the Church, 1160 Lincoln Street, there will be live music from Anabel Englund, Human Life, Matt Ossentjuk, and Mont Blvck, as well as a bus for cannabis consumption offsite (but nearby). Attendance (21+), but guests must register first. Learn more on the event's webpage.

Easily the Halloween-iest director alive, Tim Burton has seen his films in heavy rotation throughout October. With his German Expressionist-inspired sets and costume design, fondness for Gothic tropes and foundational sympathy for the various monsters and misfits that populate his oeuvre, Burton's best films evoke the spirit of the holiday as few other movies have done since the heydays of Tod Browning and F.W. Murnau. Whether you're looking to get hyped up for another evening of Halloween hell-raising or simply want to see some good movies, don't miss the Burton double feature at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House's Studio Loft on Tuesday, October 31, starting at 5 p.m.. With free screenings of BeetleJuice and Sleepy Hollow — that's right: two movies for the price of none — this is an ideal way for cinephiles and goth teens alike to ease into All Hallow's Eve. Visit the Eventbrite page to learn more and register for free.

Wednesday, November 1

Denver’s traditionally a beer town, but if you’re an oenophile instead of a hophead, you’ll be happy the Denver International Wine Festival is coming to town from Wednesday, November 1, through Friday, November 3. The event includes a Grand Vintners Dinner with wine by Kovács Nimród and food by Radek Cerny; the Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition, where you’ll enjoy twenty bites paired with gold medal-winning wines; and the Grand Tasting, the showcase event with more than eighty wineries and distilleries pouring samples of delicious beverages. Tickets to individual events range from $95 to $175 and are available at Now, that’s something to toast to!

This year, the Denver Film Society is celebrating the fortieth edition of the Denver Film Festival, which runs from Wednesday, November 1, through Sunday, November 12, and includes 200-plus films from more than forty countries. In addition to the usual industry panels, parties and screenings, the festival will spotlight Danish and Polish cinema. Films by directors including Hong Sang-soo, Agnès Varda, Sally Potter, Fatih Akin, Joe Berlinger, Richard Linklater, Claire Denis, Paolo Virzì, Kim Ki-duk will also grace screens across town. Opening-night film Lady Bird plays at 8 p.m. on November 1, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Opening-night tickets run $35 to $60; find a full schedule of films and ticketing options for the rest of the fest at

Sponsored by 9News and the Denver Press Club, "Five Years of Legal Marijuana in Colorado" is a panel discussion and social chat will focus on the fifth anniversary of Amendment 64, the voter-approved statute that legalized recreational cannabis in Colorado in 2012. The panel will be moderated by 9News reporter Brandon Rittiman, who will chat with activist Mason Tvert, Smart Colorado's Henny Lasley, Department of Revenue director Mike Hartman, dispensary owner Chris Woods, Governor John Hickenlooper's marijuana policy adviser Mark Bolton and impaired driving expert Chris Halsor. The discussion starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1, at the Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place. Tickets are free for DPC members and $5 for non-members. Find more information at

click to enlarge Prepare to learn something new at Three Things, Any Three Things. - COURTESY OF MCA DENVER
Prepare to learn something new at Three Things, Any Three Things.
Courtesy of MCA Denver
Thursday, November 2

MCA Denver has a marvelous way of elevating the incongruous, first with its wildly popular Mixed Taste series, and now with Three Things, Any Three Things, a new group of artist/creative show-and-tell sessions divided into three presentations that are not in any way connected. First up, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 2, the MCA gives you Instagram star and animal-adoptaholic Steve Greig on “Senior Dogs,” Denver Museum of Nature & Science Curator of Space Science Ka Chun Yu on Exoplanets and Rubedo percussionist extraordinaire Gregg Ziemba on, natch, the drums; the series continues on November 16 and 30 at the same time, each night offering a new trio of unrelated experiences. General admission tickets are sold out, but you probably want the package that gets you in to all three events anyway ($25 to $40). The MCA is at 1485 Delgany Street; learn more and register at, or visit

So you’re not really a bartender/bank teller/beekeeper at heart — you’re just doing it to pay the bills until you write the Great American Novel. We get it! Now’s the time to make it happen, since November is National Novel Writing Month, popularly known as NaNoWriMo. Anythink Libraries is encouraging your literary ambitions with workshops throughout the month. The library’s Wright Farms branch, 5877 East 120th Avenue in Thornton, will offer tips and resources from staff, as well as time for writing, on Thursday, November 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. The Brighton branch, at 327 East Bridge Street, has scheduled weekly Thursday workshops (excluding Thanksgiving) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. that will address character and conflict development, story structure, publishing and more. Check out for information on the project and for details about the local workshops. Now, get to it — the sooner you start writing, the sooner you can take your rightful place as the next Hemingway.

Denver’s And Toto Too Theatre Company continues its mission of presenting new works by female playwrights with Flowers in the Desert, a two-person modern-life drama by Donna Hoke in which a divorced couple hooks up again at the wife’s behest. The twist? Her reasons for wanting to get back together aren’t what they seem. The play opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 2, and runs Thursdays through Saturdays until November 18 at the Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa Street. For tickets, $22 to $25, go to Hot date? Look for Cheap Date Night on November 9, when all tickets are only $15.

click to enlarge Even though it moved, Pirate Contemporary Art will continue its much-beloved Day of the Dead Show. - COURTESY OF PIRATE CONTEMPORARY ART
Even though it moved, Pirate Contemporary Art will continue its much-beloved Day of the Dead Show.
Courtesy of Pirate Contemporary Art
Friday, November 3

It turns out that pirates can go home again. For decades, Pirate Contemporary Art’s annual Day of the Dead Show was the co-op’s most graceful interface with what was once a largely Hispanic neighborhood, which joined in with the artists to build altars to the dearly departed inside the gallery and march side by side in a candle-lit processional to the nearby Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Fast-forward to the present, when Pirate has come ashore at a new location in Lakewood, and you’ll be happy to learn that the gallery members have brought the tradition with them. This year’s event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 3, at Pirate, 7130 West 16th Avenue in Lakewood, with much of the old festivities still intact: There will still be community altars, Aztec dancers, piñata parties for kids and adults, and even a procession — now taking off through the 40 West Arts District. Admission is free; call 303-458-6058 or go to Pirate’s Facebook page to learn more.

Get your holiday shopping done early at the fourteenth annual Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show. For three days starting Friday, November 3, peruse some 450 displays offering unique gifts including original art, crafts, specialty foods, home decor, clothing, furniture, jewelry and more. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Denver Mart Expo Halls & Plaza, 451 East 58th Avenue. Find tickets, $11.50 to $14.50, at, and more information about the show at

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.