It's officially fall, and with the new season comes plenty of opportunities to celebrate accordingly. Craft markets, cider festivals and spooky festivities abound this week. All that and more is in this week's events calendar!
Monday, September 30
The Great American Beer Festival starts on Thursday, October 3, and while tickets are mostly sold out, you can still toast the best beer at Welcome to the Wild West, the GABF kick-off event on Monday, September 30. Hosted by the Tivoli Brewing Company and Holidaily Brewing — the latter of which specializes in gluten-free beers — this party promises to "gently break you into the mayhem that is GABF week." Best of all, it's free to attend (though you'll want to bring money for drinks) and includes live music from Boxcar 79. The beery bash goes from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Tivoli, 900 Auraria Parkway, Suite 240; find more information on the GABF Welcome to the Wild West Facebook page.
Tuesday, October 1
Denver-based nonprofit the Global Livingston Institute has been taking students and community leaders on exchange trips to East Africa for a decade. GLI has also thrown massive charity concerts in Uganda and Rwanda, and is bringing Navio, a superstar rapper from the former, to Denver for the organization's tenth-anniversary concert at the Bluebird Theater, 3317 East Colfax Avenue. Starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 1, the 16+ show will also include Hazel Miller, Isabelle Fries, Jonny 5 of Flobots, Rob Drabkin, S-Wrap, Tracksuit Wedding and more. Find tickets, $20 to $250, and more information at bluebirdtheater.net; learn more about GLI at globallivingston.org.
Wednesday, October 2
Teton Gravity Research and the Sie FilmCenter are ready to whisk you away with WhiSKI, a VIP screening of the ski and snowboard film Winterland on Wednesday, October 2. The evening will include a high-end whiskey tasting, the Denver premiere of the film, and a Q&A with featured athletes and the production team at the Sie, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Several prizes will be up for grabs, including a trip to Sierra Nevada’s beer camp in California and a trip to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The whiskey tasting and Q&A begin at 7 p.m., followed by the screening at 8; get tickets, $75, at bit.ly/314kzPF.
This year, Wheelchair Sports Camp MC Kalyn Heffernan made more headlines in Denver as a mayoral candidate than as a rapper. But now she and her band — a rotating cast of Denver improvisational luminaries including Rubedo drummer Gregg Ziemba, jazz trumpeter Joshua Trinidad and multi-instrumental wizard Wesley Watkins — are going on tour, and they're celebrating with the Wheelchair Sports Camp Tour Jump Off, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 2, at Lost Lake, 3602 East Colfax Avenue. Expect a night of politically charged, lyrically bold, sonically experimental jazz-infused indie hip-hop, full of pathos, humor and wit; tickets, $12, are at lost-lake.com.
Thursday, October 3
Brazilian culture is undoubtedly one of the more vibrant in the world; the South American country even celebrates the beginning of Lent with Carnival, a party known the world over. The Viva Brazil Festival will bring that energy to Colorado for three days, starting with an opening reception at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 3, at the Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Drive. The festival's objective is "to spread culture and unite communities through dance, music, visual arts, food and theater," but don't be fooled: This is a party, full of dancing and live music happening everywhere from Boulder to Loveland and back to Denver for a grand finale on Sunday, October 6. Guest performers will even teach master dance classes so you can get down the right way at the various performances, which are hosted by Luciana Da Silva Dance. For tickets and a full schedule, visit lucianadasilva.org.
Friday, October 4
Relive the hormonal horror and hilarity of your adolescence at Teen Movie Hell Weekend, a two-day tribute to the half-forgotten films of yesteryear at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Presented by cinephile Mike "McBeardo" McPadden, author of Heavy Metal Movies and Teen Movie Hell, the weekend will take viewers back to the early-’80s heyday of silver-screen horndogs with a trio of classics. The party starts on Friday, October 4, with a 6 p.m. reception in the Sie's Henderson-Withey Lounge, and continues with screenings of The Last American Virgin at 7 p.m. and Joysticks at 9:30 p.m.; DJ Sara Splatter will be on hand to spin the era's most danceable jams on vinyl before and after each movie. The series concludes at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 5, with a showing of Little Darlings and closing remarks from McPadden that draw upon his personalized introduction to each movie. Visit denverfilm.org to buy tickets, $7 to $12 per show, and find out more.
On the first weekend in October, over two dozen regional artists and performers in southwestern Colorado will host the Purple Fox Conundrum, a ninety-minute outdoor immersive theatrical performance and large-scale art installation where you can worship with Siri at the Church of the Cell Phone and wander through portals of technology and wildness. “Think Meow Wolf meets the Wild Agricultural Artists in the Mancos Valley,” suggests executive producer Sarah Syverson. “Magical realism is alive and well, and you’ll take a deep dive into it through the Purple Fox Conundrum experience.” The Conundrum runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 4, and 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, October 5, at the Sacred Song Farm, 6982 Road 41 in Mancos. Go to purplefoxconundrum.com for tickets, $10 to $20, and more information. At the very least, it's a good excuse for a road trip to catch the last of the changing leaves. And at the most, it could be a conundrum to remember.
Miguel de Cervantes's foolhardy hidalgo leaps off the page and onto the stage at the Colorado Ballet's Don Quixote, a production that will inspire pirouettes and maybe a tilted windmill or two. Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and set to the music of Ludwig Minkus for the Ballet of the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre, the adaptation of the seventeenth-century tale was eventually perfected by Petipa's protégé, Alexander Gorsky, whose revival of Don Quixote proved so indelible that each production still moves according to his century-old guidelines. The Colorado Ballet breathes new life into a literary classic starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 4, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; performances continue through Sunday, October 13. Find a schedule and tickets, $24 to $155, at coloradoballet.org.
The return of the Allied Witches Theater is a fall tradition at the Mercury Cafe, and in a year that’s been particularly frightful, the Witches, including Merc maven Marilyn Megenity, will take on immigration issues for Caminando Hacia la Libertad (Walking Towards Liberty), a series of razzmatazz satirical skits that wax both hilarious and heartbreaking. Catch the revue every Friday in October — beginning October 4 and running through a special Halloween show on October 31 — from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in the Jungle Room at the Merc, 2199 California Street. Admission is $10 at the door, and food and libations will be available before and during the show. Call 303-294-9258 to reserve a table; learn more at mercurycafe.com.
Saturday, October 5
When the Horseshoe Craft & Flea Market turned over a new leaf last spring by taking a giant step over to parking lot G at Empower Field at Mile High, the public responded by turning out in droves. See why at this weekend’s tenth annual fall market, which sets up shop at the stadium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, and Sunday, October 6, offering wares from 230 makers and vintage vendors plus five free workshops, including a denim-mending tutorial with Covet Denim and a talk on “Upcycling Thrift Store Finds” with vintage connoisseur Lexi Wilson. Admission is $5 at the door and free for kids twelve and under, and parking is free at lots I and F at Empower Field; learn more at horseshoemarket.com.
Every fall, the apples drop from the trees faster than Granny can make pies, so much of the harvest is turned into cider. Lakewood has long celebrated the crisp, clean juice of the apple with its Cider Days festival, happening on Saturday, October 5, and Sunday, October 6. This year marks the 44th anniversary of the fest, where you'll be able to see cider being pressed, buy fresh cider by the glass or gallon, and enjoy agricultural events like a tractor pull and barrel train ride. Join in the juicy fun from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Lakewood Heritage Center, 801 South Yarrow Street. Tickets start at $6 for adults and $5 for kids, and there's also a hard-cider tasting ticket for $30 that will get you samples of more than fifty ciders and a commemorative glass. See lakewood.org for more information on parking, activities and how to enter the Cider Days pie-baking competition.
We might all have a few skeletons in our closets, but for some folks, old bones and other spectral novelties are part of their home's decor. Whether you’re looking to decorate seasonally for a spooky Halloween party or simply seeking haunting treasures and goth gear to go with your black walls, the Denver Oddities & Curiosities Expo is your go-to for everything ghastly and ghoulish, enhanced by sideshow performances. Stroll the national touring show on Saturday, October 5, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Denver Mart, 451 East 58th Avenue; find information and tickets, $10 to $20 (you can also sign up for a $100 taxidermy workshop), at odditiesandcuriositiesexpo.com. Kids ages twelve and under get in free.
Rise from your grave and shuffle through LoDo along with hordes of costumed undead when the Denver Zombie Crawl returns for its fourteenth annual brain-eating bonanza on Saturday, October 5. This year's festivities pay tribute to Colorado's pioneering founders with prizes and puns at the "Organ Trail: Ghoul'd Rush" competition, where you and up to six of your closest reanimated corpses can compete in spooky challenges (entry is $30 per team). Crawlers convene at Skyline Park, 1600 Arapahoe Street, starting at 11 a.m. Register for the hotly contested costume contest by 2:30, and be sure to rehearse your moves for the 3:55 p.m. "Thriller" dance-along. Visit denverzombiecrawl.com to register and learn more.
Boulder mural goddess Leah Brenner Clack, a street-art consultant who matches artists with walls, decided the college town was ready for the Street Wise Mural Festival, an indoor/outdoor, multi-dimensional fest all its own. Inspired by social activism, artists began painting walls around Boulder a couple of weeks ago, and as they near completion, the community is invited to celebrate the new public art at a Street Wise Block Party with music, live painting, dancing and other fun. Join the free arty party from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, at the Boulder Chamber, 2440 Pearl Street in Boulder; find details at streetwiseboulder.com.
Whether you’re into live music, silent discos, art making, tasty eats, body painting, henna or magic, the Boulder Music Festival has something for you. Gasoline Lollipops, DeadPhish Orchestra, Chris Karns of Pretty Lights, DJ Abilities, Banshee Tree and more local musicians will take the stage, while the Cilantro & Perejil, Colorado Fried Chicken Company, Rollin’ Bones and Vegetable Express food trucks will keep everyone fed. It all rolls out in front of DV8 Distillery, 2480 49th Street in Boulder, from noon to 2 a.m. on Saturday, October 5. Tickets are $20 in advance at bouldermusicfest.com or $25 at the door.
The Denver Horror Collective, which is working to publish the anthology Terror at 5280’, will host Music to My Fears, a horror-fiction gathering and fundraiser for the collection. A group of Denver-based authors will read from their works as musicians and a DJ play along; the readings will be headed up by JoAnn Chaney, author of the highly lauded thriller As Long as We Both Shall Live. The evening begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race Street; tickets are $15 ($20 if you want to add on a creepy cocktail) at denverhorror.com.
Disciples of Toshiro Mifune and The Seven Samurai will agree: The culture and legends of the Japanese samurai run deep even in contemporary times, serving as a road map to living an honorable life. But how often do they — or anyone, for that matter — get to see the samurai arts in action in real time? Thanks to the Japanese Arts Network, you'll have that opportunity at The Way of the Warrior, a community evening of pageantry, Japanese pop culture, music and art, food trucks and, most important, a good helping of samurai wisdom, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, October 5, at Sakura Square (between 19th and 20th and Larimer and Lawrence streets). Admission is free, or pony up $60 for a VIP experience; get details and RSVP at eventbrite.com.
Images of the raging fire that devastated Notre-Dame still haunt those who watched helplessly from their screens or the street. But classical-music lovers are surely heartened to know that the cathedral's world-famous pipe organ, built over 200 years ago by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, will live on to make music again — a triumph that Elliot Moore, musical director of the Longmont Symphony, will celebrate at his group's season opener, with Brian du Fresne on organ. The program consists of a trio of organ-centric compositions: Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, Poulenc's Concerto for Organ and Saint-Saëns's Symphony No. 3, aka the "Organ Symphony." The musicians launch their 53rd season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 5, at the Vance Brand Civic Auditorium, 600 East Mountain View Avenue in Longmont; buy tickets, $5 to $25, at longmontsymphony.org.
Sunday, October 6
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Tired of the same old fright houses and creepy corn mazes that pop up like tombstones all over the city every October? Get hip to Spookadelia: A Spooky Immersive, a more sophisticated supernatural experience being thrown this Halloween season by DIY art community Spectra Art Space,1836 South Broadway. The timed-entry adventure unveils real-world horrors as it winds from purgatory through a series of art installations by Natura Obscura, Meow Wolf and Spectra, with performance art popping up along the way. Spookadelia runs daily except Mondays from Sunday, October 6, through November 3; admission ranges from $5 to $15 for one-hour slots, or $15 to $20 for priority Specter tickets with no time limits. Reserve your slot and find daily hours at the event's Facebook page.
Take a day for personal care at Lovefest Day, a smorgasbord of holistic disciplines hosted by the Denver-based nonprofit Oneness.Care. Waltz your way through workshops and treatments that cover everything from astrology and art to music, yoga, reiki, aura readings and more, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 6, at Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery, 800 East 73rd Avenue, #11. Door admission is $25 (additional services such as readings and body treatments are offered by donation); get details and grab a ticket at eventbrite.com.
Little-known facts about jazz guitarist Dale Bruning: He was a friend and disciple of the late Jim Hall, and is a genius in his own right who chose to settle down, teaching and gigging around Colorado, rather than live a musician’s road-tripping existence. But his love for Hall’s impeccable playing — indelibly commemorated on Bruning’s Jazz Link recording Thanks for the Memory…Jim Hall — remains intact. Hear Bruning express that love with bandmates Ron Miles, John Gunther, Mark Patterson, Mark Simon and Paul Romaine in A Blind Tiger Tribute to Jim Hall, presented by Gift of Jazz on Sunday, October 6, at 5 p.m. at Dazzle, 1512 Curtis Street. The $60 admission includes dinner along with performances by some of the region’s top musicians. Learn more and reserve tickets at giftofjazz.org.
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