Halloween falls on Saturday this year, which means spooky activities abound...and for some, you don't even have to leave your home (see our Halloween list here). That's followed by Day of the Dead, which brings even more virtual celebrations (see those here).
But before those holidays, you have the chance to honor a true Denver institution, one this city couldn't live without: the Mercury Cafe. Marilyn Megenity's club is a true cultural landmark; although you never need a reason to stop by the venue at 2199 California Street, there are several special events there this weekend in honor of its thirtieth anniversary in that location.
Keep reading for more on those, as well as other things to do in Denver this weekend.
Mercury Cafe's 30th Birthday Celebration
Saturday, October 31, 8 p.m. to midnight
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street
There’s a good reason that Mercury Cafe founder Marilyn Megenity’s favorite holiday is Halloween. Aside from its witchy profile, it also marks the anniversary of the Merc’s California Street digs, which opened on October 31 thirty years ago. So it’s a busy weekend despite social distancing. On Friday, a poetry seance will bring favorite works by dead poets back to life. And on Halloween, both floors will be busy with special Halloween dishes in the dining room, incantations and rituals, and live music all evening upstairs. As the folks at the Merc suggest, “It’s a masquerade by legal mandate.” Find a complete schedule and make reservations here.
Drawing Parallels: Community Art & Artifacts From 2020
Through March 1, 2021
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder
This fall, the Museum of Boulder put out a call to regional artists, first responders and the community for artwork, objects and minutiae reflecting how history repeats itself, even in years like 2020, when it seems like everything bad converged around the globe — the pandemic, politics, world issues, civil rights at home. The goal? To provide a frame of reference, and maybe to work out some solutions. Find information here.
An Introduction to Thanatology: The Study of Death
Saturday, October 31, 10 a.m. (noon for Spanish)
Thanatology has a long history, over time it's evolved according to belief, culture and need. It's also a medical speciality for Dr. Gaal Cohen, exhibiting artist and practicing thanatologist in Guadalajara, Mexico. Cohen will be at the Museo de Las Americas, which is opening Testigos (Witnesses) on October 29 (watch the live-stream reception here); he'll talk about his death work during this online program. Register here for the $5 talk.
Día de los Muertos Tribute to La Llorona
Saturday, October 31, 2 to 3 p.m.
The Chicano Humanities Arts Council will cap its month-long virtual Día de los Muertos series with a tribute to Colorado master Mexican folklorist Rita Wallace as well as the legend of La Llorona. Wallace was dance director for more than fifteen years with Teatro Latina de Colorado; she is best known for her haunting piece “La Llorona,” created for choreographer Jeanette Trujillo and the Fiesta Colorado Dance Company. The virtual celebration will include footage of Wallace’s original La Llorona dance; Jeanette Trujillo of Fiesta Colorado will interview Wallace. Nadia Redone and Renee Fajardo will also share stories of La Lorona. It's free on Zoom; find out more here.
Circo de Nada, Psychosomatic
Saturday, October 31, through November 21, 7 to 8:15 p.m. nightly
Originally scheduled to stream virtually, with a limited in-person seating available at the People’s Building in Aurora, Circo de Nada’s world premiere of Psychosomatic will now stream nightly for three weeks, sharing highbrow clown comedy, puppetry and other nonsense by commedia dell’arte performer Nick Trotter. Denver artist Sammy Lee is a collaborator, and Trotter’s own musical group Bonejesters provides the music. Tickets are $20; get yours and learn more here.
Boo-tiful Northside Mural Challenge
Through October 31
Hundreds of expressive murals can be seen throughout nearly every neighborhood in north Denver. Some are bold and proudly adorn buildings, community gardens, school buses and campers. Others are hidden in alleys, on benches, shipping containers, utility boxes and mailboxes, or garage doors. All are a testament to the creative juices flowing through the area. And you could win a valuable prize just for finding one and taking a selfie. The Denver North Star Newspaper just hit its one-year anniversary and is hosting a mural selfie challenge to celebrate. Participants should put on a costume and find amazing murals to take a selfie with, then post the photo on Instagram @denvernorthstar or email it to email@example.com by midnight October 31. A panel of celebrity muralist judges, including north Denver's own Jolt, will select the winners. Find all the details here.
Boulder's Story Slam Grand Slam Championship
Sunday, November 1, 6 p.m.
Boulder’s Story Slam presents its annual grand-slam championship in a contest focusing on the theme "free." And you're free to watch these five-minute stories while sitting on your sofa. All the Story Slam winners from the last year will face off for the Grand Slam title. The suggested donation is $10 to $20; find out more here.
LGBTQ Victims of Violence
Sunday, November 1, and Monday, November 2
The Center on Colfax, 1301 East Colfax Avenue
The Center on Colfax will remember the lives of LGBTQ community members and others who died in the past year with a Día de los Muertos altar illuminated in the Center’s windows, along with a video series. Find out more about the Center here.
See more Day of the Dead events in and around Denver here.
Know of other great events? We'll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.