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Seven Ways to Celebrate the Fall Equinox

It might still feel like summer with temperatures in the '80s, but it's hard to ignore those crunchy amber Aspen leaves accumulating beneath our feet, or the plump Gala apples brightening up waning famers' market stands. As the sounds, tastes and colors of fall gradually hit Denver, it is time to revel in the annual harvest our town has produced. And what better way to rejoice than with a festival honoring the fall equinox, the time when day and night are nearly equal in duration and summer is officially over, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, and sometimes called the Pagan Thanksgiving in magical communities. Shift into the new season with one of these Autumnal Equinox events.

See also: Zombies, Booze and the Pub Crawls of the Dead

7) Autumn Color Run Mc Phelemy Park West Main Street near Highway 24 in Buena Vista Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m.

Sprint into fall in Buena Vista at the thirtieth annual Autumn Color Run, with four races: a half marathon, 5K, 10K and fun walk/run. Participants will weave through colorful aspen groves as they descend 2,000 feet down to a fantastic finish-line celebration. Sneak peak: Once you've cooled down, you'll feast at the pasta and salad bars and nibble delectable baked goods as musician Bruce Hayes gets funky. Show up early for free yoga at 7:15 or 7:45 a.m. Half of the course is dirt, the other half is paved; shuttle busses are available to drop runners near Cottonwood Lake. Register in advance online.

6) Karma Yoga Center 290 South Franklin Street Saturday, September 20, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Fall is a time for finding balance as we savor the fruits of our summer-long efforts and reap the benefits of what we've sown. Celebrate this special time with a DJ Yoga Class centered 'round achieving balance. Guided by Lisa Theis and DJ'd by Aaron Theis, participants will be led through a fun vinyasa-style series of asanas designed to help attendees release and let go. "We don't have a lot of ways in our society to mark time, and this is one celebration that does that," says Theis. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. For more details, call 720-379-3627.

.5) Unity of Boulder Spiritual Center 2855 Folsom Street in Boulder Monday, September 22, 7:15 p.m.

Folks will gather at Unity of Boulder, a worldwide Christian organization that is more than a century old, and walk the labyrinth in the gardens in order to create a sacred space through sound, movement, sage and prayer. The drumming, chanting and dancing that will follow promise a spiritual experience capable of transforming the lives of those in attendance, possibly taking them to the next level of their spiritual divinity. Free childcare is provided (although children are encouraged to participate). For more information, call 303-442-1411 or visit the organization's website.

4) Shiva Sai Mandir 1391 South Pennsylvania Street Tuesday, September 23, 6:30 to 9 p,m.

At this simple, family-oriented Autumn Equinox Celebration, participants will gather in a turn-of-the-century Victorian home to enjoy a potluck dinner followed by a seasonal blessing and a traditional New Moon Homa. The community center welcomes folks of all faiths, and is an organized temple representing Vedic traditions and upholding Sanatana Dharma. All celebrations, this one included, are connected with a community seva project. Don't forget to bring fruits or flowers for the Homa (AKA the fire puja). A monetary donation of any amount is appreciated and activates your intention; for questions, call 303-722-3658 or email shivamandir@gmail.com.

Continue reading for more ways to celebrate this year's fall equinox. 3) Gather Denver Botanic Gardens 1007 York Street Tuesday, September 23, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

What better way to immerse yourself in fall than with flavorful, seasonal cuisine? At Gather, a quarterly pop-up dining experience held in the Gardens' Orangery, you'll get a multi-course meal that's innovative, diverse and crafted specially for the evening. No two Gather dinners are alike, and the menu is kept secret until guests arrive. This year's dinner features chef Jeremy Kittelson of Root Down and Linger. Bonus: You'll get to see the Chihuly exhibit all lit up. Tickets are $75 and must be purchased in advance; the event is BYOB. Call 720-865-3500 for details, or visit the Denver Botanic Gardens website.

2) Soothing Sounds Acutonics 9629 West Colfax Avenue, #3E, Lakewood Tuesday, September 23, 6:30 p.m.

Acutonics it is a unique blend of Eastern and Western medicine that activates acupuncture points with tuning forks instead of needles. Some say it's like going to a place of total peace and comfort, and that all of your worries will quickly melt away. Deb Houk, owner of Soothing Sounds Acutonics, will conduct this year's Fall Equinox Meditation. Space is limited, so RSVP.; a $5 or greater love donation is requested. For more details, see the full Meetup listing or call 720-480-2375.

1) The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey 3011 U.S. 50 in Cañon City Saturday, September 27, to Sunday, September 28

So you missed the equinox? You can still pay homage to the fruit of the vine at the thirteenth annual Harvest Festival at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. Guests will mark the close of September by sampling tasty morsels, perusing fine arts and crafts and enjoying live music. This is also the time when grapes of summer will be gathered and transformed into award-winning wines, and there will be a limited release of Harvest Fest's Merlot and Riesling. Entertainment includes Brazilian jazz, blues and an appearance by new age guitarist Wayne Hammerstadt. For the younger family members, there is face painting in the Fun Zone. Admission is free and so is parking; call 719-276-5191 for more information.

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