Jump Back in Time With Howl

The annual New Year's Eve soiree Howl takes its name from Allen Ginsberg's history-making poem. And event organizer Jessie de la Cruz says that the poem, in which Ginsberg famously laments that "Denver is lonesome for her heroes," has a lot to do with this year's party.

"There's something about the rhythm and the mood of that poem that gives me this really great mental image of Denver being a rough and tough, gritty, dirty city," explains de la Cruz, "and I think that's what we're going for this year."

The unconventional Howl takes place in a fresh, new space with a different theme each year. This year's theme is 1858, when Denver became a full-fledged city, and it draws from all things Wild West, including burlesque, fortune telling, music from Possessed by Paul James and Reverend Deadeye, and old-timey signature cocktails like the Buffalo Bill (bourbon with fresh-pressed apple juice and Angostura bitters over block ice). Get your 1800s-style portrait taken, visit the confessional booth, or just get down to the tunes of DJ Double Shadow and Eddie B. "We are trying to be more storytellers than party planners," says de la Cruz. "If people can walk away from the event and have two or three stories about that night, I think that's a successful event."

Howl will take place at Cluster Studios, 3881 Steele Street, at 8 p.m. For tickets, $40, and more information, visit www.howlnewyearseve.com.
Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m., 2011