Erotic Poetry Festival
Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street
What rhymes with "vulva"? Find out at the Mercury Cafe's venerable Erotic Poetry Festival; the 2018 edition marks 24 years of writers and performers getting on stage to talk about getting off. The fest isn't the only New Year's Eve event at the restaurant and music venue — there's also samba dancing and performances by klezmer bands Hadgaba and Gora Gora Orkestar — but at 7 p.m., the mic goes live with literary ruminations on peckers and pussies. Everyone vows to get more action in the new year, so get a jump on the sexiest of resolutions by listening to (or penning your own) odes to onanism and couplets about coupling. Tickets to the slam are $10 ($50 for access to all of the venue's NYE events) on the Merc's website.
BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street
If you're an introvert, New Year's Eve can seem like a special kind of hell. Mobs of diners creating long wait times at your favorite restaurant, drinkers crowding around the bar, party-goers clogging up the sidewalks waiting for their Lyfts: All of these are sure to try your patience and dissolve any excitement about a new year and a fresh start. But you don't have to spend New Year's Eve alone: BookBar is throwing your kind of party. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., you can play board games, color or simply read; the bar will be serving its full drink menu, and bites and bubbly are included in the ticket price. Get tickets, $30, at eventbrite.com and prepare for relaxed (dare we say civilized?) revelry.
Itchy-O Superhuman New Year's Eve Trifecta
The Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue
Perhaps Denver's weirdest (and certainly its largest) band, Itchy-O is staging a three-night run to bid adieu to 2018. From Saturday, December 29, through Monday, December 31, the 57-member masked marching band will take to the stage with guests PPL MVR, Radio Scarlet and Mr. Pacman. Those not sure what to expect from a musical act that regularly cites Alejandro Jodorowsky as an influence can look forward to bombastic percussive sounds and barely controlled chaos, both on stage and in the audience. Single-day tickets run from $30 to $45; a three-day pass will set you back $75 to $120. Pick yours up now on Itchy-O's website.
It's All Fun and Games New Year's Bonspiel
Denver Curling Club, 14100 West Seventh Avenue, Golden
A few things in life are (almost) as predictable as death and taxes, and one of those is the quadrennial emergence of curling in the American consciousness. The Winter Olympics put the slow-paced and endearingly goofy sport on the country's radar, only to be forgotten as quickly as Bermuda's lone downhill skier as soon as the closing ceremonies conclude. But even though the next Winter Olympiad doesn't take place until 2022, you can get your fill of the sport at a bonspiel (or tournament) on Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1. If you're an athlete, registration is $60 at denvercurlingclub.com. If you don't want to take to the ice, well, there's nothing quite like ringing in the New Year watching people with brooms intently focused on a rock.
Denver Marriott South, 10345 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree
Nan Desu Kan, the largest anime convention in the Rocky Mountain region, is moving its annual New Year's Eve bash down south this year. Is Lone Tree prepared for an invasion of anime cosplayers dressed as if they're heading to a royal court? This mashup of con/prom/costume party promises a spectacular cosplay contest (and a draconian dress code, so do your research), as well as fortune tellers, DJs and games galore. Traditional Japanese games, board games, rhythm games and a pachinko parlor will all be in play; an adults-only round of Cards Against Humanity starts at midnight. Tickets for the all-ages party are $20 at ndknye.org, with the hotel also offering room specials for those who take advantage of the cash bar.
Keep reading for dozens of other things to do on New Year's Eve: