The Mile High City remembers dearly departed friends and family
Denver, CO – October, 2015 – Denver celebrates Día de los Muertos with family-friendly, spooky fun throughout the city. “Día de los Muertos”, or the “Day of the Dead”, is celebrated around the world and particularly in Mexico, where it is a national holiday. South of the border, streets near cemeteries are filled with parades, colorful decorations, flowers, candy, skeletons and skulls. It is believed the spirits of the dead visit their families starting on November 1st. The celebration begins on October 31 (All Hallows’ Eve), November 1 (All Saints’ Day) and November 2 (All Souls’ Day), comprising the triduum of Allhallowtide. Families make altars with photos of the deceased, along with offerings of food, candles, incense and yellow marigolds. Denver has been lovingly honoring its deceased for over a quarter of a century.
As always, the Mile High City is host to some great events honoring this tradition:
Colorado’s largest Day of the Dead celebration – Come to Denver suburb Longmont for the Longmont Museum’s signature event and the largest Day of the Dead celebration in Colorado, attracting more than 6,000 people to the exhibit, family celebration, and related programming.
Celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, the celebration demonstrates how a diverse community can come together to share a common desire – to honor their ancestors and keep their memories alive. Longmont Museum & Cultural Center’s annual Día de los Muertos free exhibition runs October 10 through November 8.
The exhibition will be in the Swan Atrium, a two-story space full of light in the museum’s new addition. It will showcase original oil paintings by local artist David Martinez. Altars for the dead, created by members of the community, will also be a central part of the exhibit. There will also be a free family celebration on Saturday, October 31st with fun and live entertainment including music and dancing, sugar skull decorating, traditional food, community altars, paper flower making, face painting, Day of the Dead icon Lady Catrina and more! Come dressed in your finest “calaca” (skeleton) apparel!
On October 10th, 17th and 24th join a free tour of the Day of the Dead exhibition with bilingual tour guide Laura Zavala. Laura will tell you about the ancient Mayan and Aztec origins of the celebration, how it blended with Spanish Catholic traditions and how it became a part of Longmont’s local culture.400 Quail Road in Longmont. For more information and a complete listing of events, visit: http://www.longmontmuseum.org/events/day-of-the-dead/
Chicano Humanities & Arts Council – The Chicano Humanities & Arts Council (CHAC) was founded in 1978 as a place where Chicano/Latino artists could explore visual and performance art while promoting and preserving the Chicano/Latino culture through the expression of the arts. The gallery generally showcases two exhibits each month by local visual artists and performances by area musicians, actors, dancers, writers and poets. Starting Friday, October 2, catch “El Día de Los Muertos” – A Celebration of Life! The show runs through Saturday, October 31, 2015. Gallery Hours are: Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am-6pm, first Friday 2pm-10pm, third Friday 12-9pm, Saturdays 12-4pm. 772 Santa Fe Drive in Denver. http://www.chacweb.org/
Museo de las Americas – Museo de las Americas is the only museum in the region devoted exclusively to the culture, history and art of Latin America. The Museo will celebrate Día de los Muertos in conjunction with Santa Fe Drive’s First Friday Art Walk on November 6 when the cultural district with over 60 galleries opens its doors freely to crowds. Guests will experience the traditional Día de Los Muertos Celebration while creating paper altares, papel picado, sugar skulls, face painting and so much more. 861 Santa Fe Drive, Denver. museo.org/
Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Botanic Gardens – One of the top-ranked botanical gardens in the U.S., this 24-acre urban oasis contains a conservatory, a variety of theme gardens and a sunken amphitheater, and hosts various concerts in the summer. The Gardens observes the Día de los Muertos tradition through an all–ages workshop about sugar skulls (October 25, 10am – 12:00pm). Learn how to make and decorate sugar skulls as you discover the cultural significance of these important icons. Each person can make and take home two sugar skulls. Workshop costs are $12 (non-member adult), and $10 (member adult), $17 (non-member child) and $15 (member child). On Sunday November 1, the Gardens’ fifth annual celebration of Día de los Muertos features activities including arts and crafts, face painting, food vendors and an exhibition of community alters. 9am-5pm, $12.50 (adults), $9 (children 3-15), free for Gardens members.
In its second year, Calavera Ball is a one-of-a-kind adult celebration of Mexican through the Día de Los Muertos holiday. Entertainment includes live performances and music. Cultural food and beverages are included in the ticket price. Calavera Ball ¡Viva la Muerte! is designed as an interactive cocktail party and Día de los Muertos “Catrina” or “Catrin” attire is encouraged! All guests must be at least 21 years of age with valid ID. Friday, October 23, 7:00 – 11 pm, Admission is $75. 1007 York Street in Denver. http://www.botanicgardens.org/
The Mexican Cultural Center’s Día de Muertos Celebration – Drop by the Mexican Cultural Center and the Consulate General of Mexico from October 12th through November 2nd to visit their display of traditional altars. Free Admission. 5350 Leetsdale Drive (2nd Floor) in Denver. 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Day of the Dead Celebration, altars, pinatas, Aztec dancers and art at Pirate: Contemporary Art – Día de los Muertos has been a yearly exhibition offered at the Pirate gallery since 1983 when member Patricio Cordova, alongside Martha Keeting and Bob Luna (and later with help from Maruca and Daniel Salazar) organized the first Día de los Muertos and then ran the program for approximately 15 years. This year, Pirate will be accepting submissions that reconsider traditional Día de los Muertos artwork. The exhibition will run November 6 – November 8, 2015. There will be an opening reception in conjunction with Santa Fe Drive’s First Friday Art Walk on Friday, November 6 from 6-10pm with adult and children’s pinatas, arts and crafts and Aztec dancers. 3655 Navajo Street in Denver. http://pirateartonline.org/dod.htm.
Dia de los Muertos in Larimer Square –Downtown Denver’s Larimer Square, Metropolitan State University & Lexus present: Dia De Los Muertos, a celebration of life on Denver’s most historic block. All souls are welcome in a gathering of live music, tequila tastings, salsa dancing, sugar skull decorating, face painting and more. Honor a loved one with the purchase of a candle for altar placement. The celebration runs on Friday, October 30th from 6-9pm. Larimer Square is located on Larimer Street between 14th and 15th Streets.
Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens – Elitch Gardens is a 70 acre amusement and water park located downtown. Throughout all of October, Elitch Gardens transforms into Family By Day and Fright By Night. Don’t miss out on five weekends of scary fun at Denver’s largest Halloween event – Fright Fest: Alive! Halloween festivities invade the park throughout the day each weekend. Little ghosts and goblins can enjoy Free Candy on the Trick or Treat Trail and partake in Halloween themed interactive challenges. Fright by Night takes over and blood-curdling shrieks, shrills and chills will take place. Prepare to be on alert all around you, as Fright Fest comes Alive and haunted creatures lurk around every thrilling corner. For more information, please visit; https://www.elitchgardens.com/fright-fest/