The 21 Best Things to Do in Denver This Week, October 14-20

Grimm's Scary Tales is a hands-on search for lost fairytales in a dystopian future world.EXPAND
Grimm's Scary Tales is a hands-on search for lost fairytales in a dystopian future world.
Courtesy of Audacious Theatre
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The witching hour is near! Put the final touches on your Halloween costume, because October 31 is right around the corner. Celebrate accordingly at one of the many pre-Halloween events, from an upgraded haunted house to a tour of Denver's oldest cemetery. All that and more is in this week's calendar of the best things to do in Denver!

Monday, October 14

Colorado's cannabis industry lost a good one earlier this year when longtime canna-business executive and friend of many Jason Margolies passed away. But those friends have vowed not to forget Margolies, who now has a cannabis-friendly golf tournament held each year in his honor. The second annual Jason Margolies Kickin' Cancer's Ass Cannabis Golf Tournament will be held Monday, October 14, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Englewood's Meridian Golf Club, 9742 South Meridian Boulevard. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships will benefit cancer research. Tickets to the private event (21+) range from $150 for spectators to $420 for player entry. Find out more at kickincancerass.org.

The Buell Theatre Balcony Music Series has been turning Monday into a fun day with free concerts paired with exhibition openings. To complement a new show of work by Dick Carter and Sandy Kinnee that opens at 5 p.m. Monday, October 14, the Buell will echo with the sounds of early Renaissance to late Baroque music starting at 6 p.m. Musicians Sarah Biber and Hannah Robbins, along with a viola da gamba, will be stationed on the third-floor balcony at the Buell, which is located in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. RSVPs are encouraged at eventbrite.com.

Tuesday, October 15

Chill like a corpse at DJ Sara Splatter’s October edition of Bordello of Blood, which will mark the end of the blood moon and the arrival of Halloween with creepy tunes to put you in the mood for the spooky season. Joining Splatter will be Denver’s guru of gore, the Scream Screen queen herself, Theresa Mercado, who'll spin some of her favorite horror-inspired punk, goth, dark-wave and other terrifying tracks. As if that wasn't enough, organizers also promise “Sick fuck flix on the screen all night long.” Come dressed to kill from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Tuesday, October 15, at Tooey’s Off Colfax, 1521 Marion Street. For more information about this free and frightening night, go to facebook.com/channelzmovies.

Wednesday, October 16

Around the turn of the century, Iran towered above most countries in its cinematic offerings. At the top of the top stood Abbas Kiarostami, a filmmaker whose vision of the world was as lyrical and delicate as it was devastating. The Clyfford Still Museum, which has started up a film series to bolster its own exhibitions, is partnering with the Alamo Drafthouse to show Kiarostami’s 1999 film, The Wind Will Carry Us, billed as an exploration of color, movement, landscapes and humanity. Denver artist Laleh Mehran will lead a discussion after the movie, which starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 16, at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue. Find tickets, $7, at drafthouse.com.

Elevate your haunted house game this season at The Cutting Room Floor.EXPAND
Elevate your haunted house game this season at The Cutting Room Floor.
Courtesy of Control Group Productions

Thursday, October 17

For the cultural elite, slash-and-gore haunted houses with wandering zombies and ax-wielding monsters are out of vogue. But who doesn’t still like a little Halloween fright in October? This season, Control Group Productions will upgrade the haunted experience with The Cutting Room Floor, an immersive mind game at the Aurora Fox Arts Center that uses movement, film and audience participation to focus on spectral lore from the historic theater’s past (be prepared for special effects and fake blood). Take a tour with Control Group during any of seventeen performances between Thursday, October 17, and Wednesday, October 30, at the Aurora Fox, 9900 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora; tickets are $24 to $32 (with $15 to $20 previews on October 17 and 18) at aurorafoxartscenter.org.

More than 2 billion books are published each year...and you’ll see a substantial number of them at Whale of a Used Book Sale, Jefferson County Library Foundation’s voluminous event that runs for four days this weekend at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 West Sixth Avenue in Golden. The book bash starts with a Friends Only Preview Night from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 17; you can become a member at the door, or save time and sign up in advance. On Friday, October 18, pay $10 for early admission at 8 a.m., or come for free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, and again from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 20, when a bag of books starts at $6. For more information, go to whalesale.org.

Everyone loves to get dressed up for a good gala, and that's just how Cannabis Doing Good wants to honor do-good cannabis companies during A Night at the Cabaret: A Gala to Benefit Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 17. The pot-friendly award ceremony and Planned Parenthood benefit was co-organized by Mason Jar Event Group and Irie Weddings & Events, which brought in chefs Daniel Asher and Kevin Grossi for the gourmet eats, along with raffles, live music and entertainment from the Circus Collective. The gala will take place at a private location in Broomfield shared after registration (21+); find out more at cannabisdoinggood.com, and get ticket information by emailing cdggala@gmail.com.

Friday, October 18

Founded in 1979, the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning helps Denver’s immigrants and refugees find their way in a new city, offering early-childhood education, health literacy classes, career development and other services. The institute’s Fifth Annual Spring Intercultural Champion Awards will honor two nonprofits that invest in immigrant and refugee children and youth — the Street Fraternity and the Buell Foundation — during a reception on Friday, October 18, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the PPA Event Center, 2105 Decatur Street. Proceeds from tickets, which start at $20 (and cover breakfast), go toward the Spring Institute. Find more information about the event at eventbrite.com and the institute at springinstitute.org.

Denver’s risk-taking Wonderbound dance company and members of the Colorado Symphony will tangle for two weekends in Hi-Strung. The collection of dances, choreographed by Sarah Tallman and Garrett Ammons, will be set to live renditions of Edvard Grieg's “Holberg Suite” and Tchaikovsky’s "Serenade for Strings.” Catch Wonderbound’s classical forays on Friday, October 18, through Sunday, October 20, at the Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School, 1001 West 84th Avenue, or on October 26 and 27 at the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue in Parker. Find tickets, $25 to $50, and performance times at wonderbound.com.

For another take on Halloween haunts, Audacious Theatre will channel the Brothers Grimm with Grimm's Scary Tales, a hands-on search for lost fairytales in a dystopian future world, where the grimmest of all Grimm stories have come true. Guided by an all-woman directorial team, the production will have you on your feet, following the cast into an arena of havoc and gore. Yes, there will be blood, and costumes are encouraged. Grimm's Scary Tales runs from Friday, October 18, through Saturday, November 2, in the basement at Felt Billiards, 101 West Floyd Avenue in Englewood; visit audacioustheatre.wellattended.com for showtimes and tickets, $25 to $40.

Visit all the spectral residents of Riverside Cemetery.EXPAND
Visit all the spectral residents of Riverside Cemetery.
Steve Johnson

Colorado was still a territory, at least for two more months, when Riverside Cemetery opened for business in 1876 as Denver’s first official burial grounds. So it’s no surprise that the graveyard, at 5201 Brighton Boulevard, holds the remains of such local politicos and characters as Colorado’s disgraced territorial governor John Evans; Denver businessman and civil-rights activist Barney Ford; black philanthropist Clara Brown; and Augusta Tabor, the jilted wife of mining magnate Horace Tabor. Riverside’s annual Halloween-season History Mystery Tours not only examine the cemetery’s legacy, but they do so after dark, under spooky starlight, taking participants on a search for the boneyard’s oddities and ghost stories (including a step inside the state’s first crematory). Tours are scheduled for 6, 7 and 8 p.m. nightly from Friday, October 18, through Saturday, October 26, and admission ranges from $30 to $35 at eventbrite.com — but act fast, because these tours sell out quickly.

Poet and fiction writer Hillary Leftwich does her fair share for the regional literary community by serving as an editor of the Kansas-based Heavy Feather Review and curating and hosting Denver’s edition of the national At the Inkwell reading series. Now it’s time to give back, with a release party for Leftwich's new mixed-discipline collection, Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock (Civil Coping Mechanisms press), at 7 p.m. Friday, October 18, at BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street. Additional readers Nancy Stohlman, Charly “City Mouse” Fasano and Jane Keir will warm up the crowd, and cake will be served; learn more at BookBar's Facebook page.

Saturday, October 19

Roxborough State Park is digging deep for the eighth International Archaeology Day Expo. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, October 19, the park will host a series of demonstrations, talks and workshops, as well as field trips and self-guided tours, out of Roxborough Intermediate School, 7370 Village Circle East in Littleton. Learn about lithophones (musical rocks), sample items from an archaic snack stand, tour the historic Bradford House with the Ken Caryl Historical Society, and see the Franktown cave and Bayou Gulch sites, where there’s evidence of proto-Apachean migration in Douglas County. There’s more, much more, and all events are free; for a complete schedule and to sign up, go to historycolorado.org/2019-IAD-expo.

Whether you menstruate or not, Period. Inc. wants you to rally from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, at the State Capitol, to ensure that menstruation products are accessible and affordable for all. Too many people are forced to choose between food and menstrual hygiene, organizers note, and access to such products should be a right, not a privilege. Those gathered for the Colorado National Period Day Rally will ask lawmakers to repeal the sales tax on period products and ensure that free and clean menstrual supplies are available at schools, shelters and prisons. For more information about the demonstration, go to facebook.com/periodmovement.

Bass players and fans from across the region will come together Saturday, October 19, and Sunday, October 20, for the Rocky Mountain Bass Slam. The event kicks off at noon on Saturday at Mojos Music Academy, 350 Terry Street in Longmont, and will culminate that day in an afternoon performance, where solo performers and duos will take to the stage to showcase their skills. The lineup includes Hilary Freeman and Jodie Woodward; Jeff Andrews; Paul Rogalski and Friends; Cody Wright; Doug Johns and Jordan JSIMMS Simmons; Matt Skellenger and Blake Eberhard; Andy Irvine; and Kirwan Brown and Noah Mast. The main event, the bass slam performance and celebration, starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 20, at the Venue, 1451 Cortex Street. Find tickets, $15 to $25, at rockymountainbassslam.com.

Soar to new heights at A Fair in the Air.
Soar to new heights at A Fair in the Air.
Courtesy of Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance

While the aerial dancers of Frequent Flyers soar through the air with the greatest of ease, the audience rarely thinks about how much it costs to keep the thriving dance studio and performance troupe up there in the stratosphere. Help hold them aloft at A Fair in the Air, a family-friendly fundraiser and gala with live performances, carnival games, snacks and drinks on Saturday, October 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance, 3022 Sterling Circle, Suite 150, in Boulder. Find more info and tickets, $25 to $50, at frequentflyers.org.

Denver’s Stories on Stage dramatic-reading series gets musical for the Halloween season with help from the Colorado Chamber Players and harpist Emily Levin. A Little Fright Music pairs story excerpts from Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Masque of the Red Death" and others, read by local actors, with tunes tailored to the reading material by the CCP. Get your theater and chamber music in one big treat bag on Saturday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Avenue in Boulder, or Sunday, October 20, at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive. Find tickets, $15 to $28, at storiesonstage.org.

Sunday, October 20

Denver’s official uniform has gone from cowboy boots and pearl snaps to flannel, which is especially handy during that odd post-summer, pre-winter season that sometimes qualifies as fall. Celebrate accordingly at the Fall Flannel Fest, a free community event that will offer safe trick-or-treating, carnival games, a pumpkin patch, scarecrow art installations, live music and more on Sunday, October 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dairy Block Alley, 1800 Wazee Street. Find more information and RSVP at dairyblock.com.

“I am so grateful to have been given the gift of music at such an early age, and it has had a huge impact on my life,” says musician Miles Whetsel. “Participation in music allows people to express themselves in new ways and facilitates connections in the brain, and in life, that may not currently exist.” Make some connections from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, October 20, when Whetsel hosts Minor to Major at Your Mom’s House, 608 East 13th Avenue. A benefit for the Colorado Honor Band Association, the event will feature the People’s Band, youth performers Max Ryan and Parker Chrisbens, and Colorado street artist SEWN live-painting a piece that will be included in a silent action. Admission (16+) is $10 in advance, $15 day of show; for a full list of performers and more info, go to facebook.com/minortomajor7.

Warm Cookies of the Revolution’s Sunday School for Atheists takes the prayer out of the Sunday community meeting and pours on the conversation, trading the spiritual for some practical rubbing of elbows. The latest session, “Shame/Forgiveness in the Digital Age,” gets down to the nitty-gritty of how we view perpetrators of bad behavior, from R. Kelly to Donald J. Trump, and what we should expect from folks who avoid accountability for their actions. Guest “sermons,” videos and performances will help direct the moral powwow from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 20, at the McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue. Admission is free, but a $5 suggested donation helps with costs; learn more at warmcookiesoftherevolution.org.

Whether you were a flower child back in the day or just one at heart, head to the Boulder Bandshell on Sunday, October 20, for the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s Music for Peace and Love, a tribute to Woodstock. That most hallowed of music festivals happened fifty years ago, and to celebrate, the RMPJC will host a free sing-along from 2 to 4 p.m., with local performers and advocacy groups “leading songs of peace, love and togetherness” from the late ’60s. Bring a vegetarian dish for the potluck, and dance the afternoon away at the Bandshell, 1212 Canyon Boulevard in Boulder. Find more information at rmpjc.org.

Want to be considered for our 21 Best list? We need information three weeks in advance of the actual event date at editorial@westword.com.

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