The 21 Best Events in Denver, October 16-22

Get sensual at Carnivale de Sensuale.
Get sensual at Carnivale de Sensuale. Carnivale de Sensuale
Winter might have slapped us in the face a bit, but lest the crazy weather make you forget that it's definitely still fall. Celebrate the spooky season at any number of events this week, including Pumpkin Nights Denver, Boo at the Zoo or the Denver Botanic Garden's Ghost in the Gardens tour. Keep reading for plenty of fall and not-fall-at-all events on this week's calendar!

Tuesday, October 16

Back in 2002, Jake Adam York, a gifted poet and professor at the University of Colorado Denver, started the school-backed Copper Nickel literary journal as a serious student-produced publication with national reach. The magazine went on hiatus after York’s death in 2012, only to rise again in the hands of poet Wayne Miller, who will preside over the Copper Nickel Launch Party for Issue 27, which includes a splendid cover by Denver photographer Kristen Hatgi Sink, on Tuesday, October 16, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at K Contemporary, 1412 Wazee Street. The free party includes readings by Elaine Feeney, Conor O’Callaghan and Jessica Traynor, a trio of Irish poets with work in the new issue, as well as guest artists Sink, Rebecca Berlin, Daisy Patton and Mario Zoots. Copies of Issue 27 will be available for $10; learn more on the Copper Nickel’s Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 17

Looking for a family Halloween spectacular? Pumpkin Nights Denver, a national attraction, is coming to Colorado for the first time this year. It's a massive, after-dark, light-strung crazy layout of carved-pumpkin lunacy, with eight separate pumpkin-themed lands constructed from more than 3,000 cucurbits and intricately carved jack-o’-lanterns. But that’s not all: Once you’ve wandered through the site, you'll find a fire show, carving demos, scavenger hunts and a screening of Coco, not to mention food trucks and seasonal beverages. Pumpkin Nights runs from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. nightly from Wednesday, October 17, to Sunday, November 4, at the Adams County Fair and Regional Park Complex, 9755 Henderson Road in Brighton. Find info and tickets, $12 to $60 (kids under three get in free; discounts apply after 8 p.m.), at

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The Clinic: First, Do No Harm, is a storytelling adventure wrapped around a caregiver-patient relationship.
Courtesy of Tara Rynders
Thursday, October 18

A pioneer in Denver’s immersive-performance explosion, Tara Rynders began seeking creative ways to connect a multi-disciplinary spread of artists with the public — face-to-face, in an environment without social walls — as a dancer, and then, starting in 2011, with You & Me, a touring, site-specific interactive performance. Later, Rynders created The Clinic, a similar performance and community-dining experience with a theme of mind/body healing, inspired by her work as a registered nurse at Rose Medical Center. Picking up where that left off, she’s back with an updated version of The Clinic: First, Do No Harm, a storytelling adventure wrapped around the caregiver-patient relationship that explores “loss, love, life and death” in the hospital environment. Be ready to move and be moved. First, Do No Harm runs Thursdays through Sundays October 18 through 28, at 7 p.m. nightly at Rose, 4567 East Ninth Avenue; comfortable shoes are recommended. Tickets are $35 at

The Denver Public Library is always scouting new neighborhoods; RiNo could be one of them, which explains why the library-less area has become a satellite location for DPL outreach programs, particularly those with an artsy edge. For the Halloween season, the library’s Chris Gyorgy will host a campy, culty Beautiful Monster Film Presentation: From Hell It Came, at home-accessory mall Modern Nomad, housed in the shell of the long-gone Empire Theatre at 2936 Larimer Street. The film rolls at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, and will be served up with movie-house goodies and Crema coffee; admission is free, but registration is recommended in advance. Learn more about this and other DPL RiNo pop-up events at

Giving a damn and getting a laugh need not be mutually exclusive. After taking a one-month hiatus between the abdication of founder Cody Spyker and newly minted host Caitie Hannan, eTown Comedy Live will roar back to gut-busting life at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 18. Sprinkling some levity on eTown Hall's 25-year legacy of socially conscious broadcasting will be mirth merchants Michael Seyedian, Geoff Tice, Gabby Gutierrez-Reed and headliner (and Fine Gentleman) Sam Tallent. In addition to the rib tickling, there will be noshes and tipples at one of the Front Range's most sustainably delightful venues. eTown Hall is located at 1535 Spruce Street in Boulder; buy tickets, $10, and find out more at

Danielle Lirette
Friday, October 19

Back in 1969, a group of sci-fi fans gathered to create an event that would promote reading and writing science fiction. Over the next five decades, the volunteer-run con grew into the biggest sci-fi/fantasy/horror celebration in the Rockies. This weekend, MileHiCon 50 will celebrate reaching fifty with a program that spotlights more than 100 science fiction/fantasy/horror authors, artists and other celebs, many of them favorite guests at past cons. The festivities include over 200 programs, as well as round-the-clock gaming; a vendors' room full of science fiction-, fantasy- and horror-related items; and a cosplay contest, critter crunch (robotic sumo wrestling) and critter floatilla (yacht race). All MileHiCon activities are at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, 7800 East Tufts Avene; doors open at noon on Friday, October 19, and again at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 20, and Sunday, October 21. A three-day membership is $50 at the door, where you can also get daily passes; full weekend memberships can be purchased in advance at, where you'll also find a complete schedule. Con one, con all!

Latino/a designers will be in the spotlight when the Museo de las Americas unveils Latin Fashion Show: Written in the Stars, a stylish fundraiser with heavenly ties to the museum’s latest exhibit, El Infinito, which connects images from modern space science with symbols from ancient Aztec cosmology. Dress up in semi-formal garb, enjoy the exhibit and the fashion, and shop for jewelry and clothing by local designers on Friday, October 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Museo, 861 Santa Fe Drive; food vendors will have delectable eats and drinks to fuel you through the evening. Get info and tickets, $15 to $40, at

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