Today marks the start of the Day of the Dead, and also the beginning of Denver Arts Week. But today is National Literacy Day, and this morning Joe Garcia, Colorado's lieutenant governor, will announce the next round of One Book 4 Colorado at the McDonald's on the 16th Street Mall. At the same time, McDonald's will launch a program that puts one of four books suitable for four-year-olds -- Deanna's Big Dreams, Doddi the Dodo goes to Orlando, The Goat who Ate Everything and Ant, Can -- in every Happy Meal sold across the country through November 14. Keep reading for a taste of what else is on the culinary calendar this weekend. See also: Ten Dia de los Muertos events in Denver this weekend
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1 Hit the third annual RiNo Epicurean Market from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight for Art for the Taste Buds. The market-style event is at the Chocolate Crisis Center, a Denver-based company that combines fun experiences and high-quality chocolate treats for serious chocoholics. If chocolate is not your thing, there will be other food vendors in attendance, including Hacienda Maize, Weezr's Nut Butters, Tender Belly, Gourmet Blends of Denver, Vibrant Veggies and Red Camper; Giuliana Imports will be pouring wine.
The Curtis Club hosts is grand opening starting at 5 p.m. tonight; at 10:30 p.m. Mile High Soul will entertain -- and we're giving away a table up front with $50 in food and drink. Find the contest details here.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2 Mezcal is hosting a silent auction and Day of the Dead celebration today to benefit Mi Casa Resource Center. Artists have decorated skulls, which will be auctioned off from noon to 6 p.m. at Mezcal, with all proceeds from the auction and 10 percent of food sales today donated to Mi Casa.
Great American what? The seventh annual All Colorado Beer Festival is coming to the Freedom Financial Services Expo Center, featuring 65 Colorado breweries that are bringing over 125 beers, plus 25 more for the VIP section. The beer extravaganza will feature two tastings: from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and again from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Admission is $35, and there are also a limited number of early entry tickets available for $40 per session, which let you in an hour early. Designated drivers can enter the event for just $10, and enjoy live music, snacks and unlimited soft drinks. For more info, visit the official website or call 720-255-3232.
Confident culinarians can test their kitchen skills at the Master Chef Season 5 casting tryouts. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, polished chefs, home cooks and anyone in between can try out for the Gordan Ramsay co-produced show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Denver.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3 In honor of the Denver Art Museum's newest exhibit, Passport to Paris, Palettes Contemporary Cuisine is offering a new, three-course tasting menu through February 9 at the Kevin Taylor-owned restaurant. The three-course meal is $28 per person, and $45 for additional wine pairings. It features seasonal Colorado ingredients in dishes that complement the masterpieces in the exhibit. The menu will be offered alongside Palettes' regular seasonal à la carte menu.
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