Although Election Day is easily the biggest story of the week, the act of voting itself takes only a few minutes (or a few hours, if you actually want to study the issues), thereby leaving you with plenty of free time to explore Colorado's cultural landscape. Whether you fancy spooky dance parties, live music, grand cultural celebrations or merely a post-ballot marg, we have you covered. Keep reading for the five best free events in metro Denver over the next five days.
Monday, November 5, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Gladys: The Nosy Neighbor
Gothic-tinged glamour is never in short supply at Gladys: The Nosy Neighbor's notorious drag shows, but the queens are serving up cauldrons full of wickedness at a special Día de los Muertos-themed edition of KOVEN. The Suspect Press-sponsored soirée welcomes host Novelí to lead a parade of queer performance artists with amusing stage names including, but by no means limited to, Colfax VanDamn, Calder Goodlay and the Witches of Baker. The dark delights continue after the 10 p.m. stage show with a dance party featuring DJ Dutch Confetti on the ones and twos. Learn more on Gladys: The Nosy Neighbor's Facebook events page.
Free Drinks on Election Day
Tuesday, November 6, 7 a.m. to midnight
Voters shouldn't need a reward for participating in their own democracy, but the civic-minded burrito barons at Illegal Pete's are offering one anyway. Stop by any of the Illegal Pete's locations in Colorado with an "I Voted" sticker and receive a free draft beer or margarita to go with your meal. The boozy giveaway is an extension of Illegal Pete's Soundcheck program, which offers a similar deal to customers with same-day ticket stubs from live performances and sporting events. Visit Illegal Pete's Facebook events page for more information.
Native American Heritage Month and Déa de los Muertos Celebration
Wednesday, November 7, noon
Aurora Fox Arts Center
Cultures collide at the season opener of the Colorado Folk Arts Council's free concert series, with a dual celebration of Día de los Muertos and Native American Heritage Month. The program includes a performance by flautist David Young and a seminar with folklorist Rita Wallace, followed by the songs and stories of Rose Red Elk, aka Red Feather Woman, and the moves and beats of Grupo Huitzilopochtli (named in honor of the Aztecan national god), who bring the dance traditions of Mexican tribes to thrilling life. Visit the Colorado Folk Arts Council's events calendar for more information.
57th Annual Madrigal Festival
Wednesday, November 7, 7:30 p.m.
Marvel at the polyphonic potential of the human voice when the Madrigal Festival returns to the University of Colorado for the 57th year. A Baroque-era precursor to a cappella music, madrigals are unaccompanied vocal compositions that call for massive choral ensembles. After conductor Dr. Sharon Paul leads 700 singers culled from different high schools all over the country through a day of instruction, the fest will be capped off by a free concert for the public. The program consists of Mack Wilberg's "Saints Bound for Heaven," Susan LaBarr's "Now Touch the Air Softly" and Craug Hella Johnson's "Let the River Run." To learn more or watch a live stream of the performance, visit CUPresents.org.
An Evening With Caitlin Cook
Thursday, November 8, 8 p.m.
The Black Buzzard
Edinburgh Fringe Festival-bound performer Caitlin Cook explores the funny side of facing your fears with her one-woman show "Death Wish," an hour of music, comedy and bathroom graffiti dedicated to laughing in the face of mortality. In anticipation of her pond-hopping journey, the Brooklyn-based comedian is rolling through Denver on November 8 to run through the hour at the Black Buzzard, which Westword proclaimed the Best New Comedy Venue in 2018. Admission is free; visit the Black Buzzard's Ticketfly page for more details.
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