Día de los Muertos or the “Day of the Dead”, is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout México, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration begins on November 1 (All Saints’ Day) and November 2 (All Souls’ Day). Families make altars with photos of the deceased, along with offerings of food, candles, incense and yellow marigolds. Colorado and New México have celebrated this time-honored tradition and will host a variety of family events in the southwestern states, as well as Halloween events.
COLORADO / DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS
November 2 –Longmont Family Fiesta
Downtown Longmont, 4th Ave and Kimbark St., 2-6 pm, The annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) free family celebration will be held at a new location in downtown Longmont outdoors at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Kimbark Street. Live music and dancing, sugar-skull decorating, traditional food, altars, craft making, Catrina face painting. Come dressed in your finest calaca (skeleton) apparel. Park downtown or take the free shuttle from the Longmont Museum so you can see the exhibit too. Info: longmontmuseum.org or 303-651-8374.
November 2, Downtown Longmont Procession
Join the free Gigantes Procession through Downtown Longmont from 6:15-7pm, start and end at 4th Avenue and Kimbark St. Join a free community procession of dozens of gigantes, traditional giant puppets made by local artists. Attendees will depart from the Family Fiesta and walk through downtown Longmont, ending at the stage on 4th Avenue and Kimbark St. More info: Firehouse Art Center at 303-651-2787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2, Catrina Ball Longmont
The 7th annual Catrina Ball at the Dickens Opera House, 7:30-11pm, will be an event to celebrate the lives of those who have already made the journey into the Great Beyond. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as Catrinas – with fancy clothes and faces painted like skulls. Proceeds benefit the Firehouse Art Center and the Longmont Museum. $15 admission includes deadly drinks, festive food, live music, and an exhibition of altars. Get your face painted as a Catrina at the Family Fiesta and get ready to dance. Tickets: dickensoperahouse.com, or contact Firehouse Art Center at 303-651-2787 or email@example.com.
November 2 – Denver Botanic Gardens
The Denver Botanic Gardens, York St. will host their annual Día de los Muertos celebration, 9am-3pm. This year will feature an indoor screening of Disney’s Pixar film “Coco.” Seating is limited, guests are encouraged to arrive early to shop the mercado and face painting before the film. Entertainment & Activity Schedule: Mitchell Hall –“Coco” screenings: 9:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm. Seating limited to 300 per screening. Marnie’s Pavilion–Denver Zoo: 9am-3pm; Orangery – Altars of Remembrance: 9am-3pm; Beside The Shop At The Gardens – Community Altar: 9am-3pm; West Terrace, Face Painting: 9am-3pm. Tickets for face painting are $5 & $15 (last ticket sold at 1:30 p.m.); Umb Bank Amphitheater, Kid’s Craft Corner: 9am-3pm (while supplies last).Craft Vendors: 9am-3pm; Mexican folk dance with México en la Piel: 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. (weather dependent);; Mariachi Los Correcaminos of Metropolitan State University of Denver: 2:30 p.m.
Volunteers are needed to help with prep, setup and teardown in addition to the festival activities. To sign up, complete the Denver Botanic Gardens online form: volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=681404985. Admission tickets to the Denver Botanic Gardens are $12.50 Adult, $9.50 Senior (65+), Children 15 and under are free. Pre-purchased tickets are encouraged to expedite entry into the Gardens. Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., Denver CO 80206, 720-865-3500, Botanicgardens.org.
COLORADO / HALLOWEEN
Now thru November 2 Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest
Elitch Gardens transforms into Family By Day and Fright By Night. Fright Fest. Little ghosts and goblins can enjoy Free Candy on the Trick or Treat Trail and Fright by Night takes over with shrieks, shrills and chills. Open Fridays 6-11pm, Saturdays Noon-11pm, Sundays Noon-9pm. KiddieLand closes at 6pm. Elitch Gardens is located at 2000 Elitch Circle, Denver, CO. Info: elitchgardens.com/fright-fest or 303-595-4386.
Oct 26 – Family Boo N’ Brew
The 13th annual Boo n’ Brew, hosted by The Bluebird Business Improvement District will once again take over Colfax Ave. in Denver between Josephine and Colorado Blvd., to celebrate community, kids, candy, costumes, and all things Halloween. The event is two parts. One-part kids and family fun, from 1-4pm and one part a self-led costume crawl for adults later the same day, 6pm-2am. The family friendly block party begins at Middleman, 3401 E. Colfax Ave, complete with trick or treating at more than 40 Colfax businesses. Info: bluebirdbeat.com.
NEW MÉXICO/ DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS
Oct 26 –Family Celebration
La Parada will host a Día de los Muertos free family celebration on Oct 26, 10am-4pm, at Farm & Table, 8917 4th St, N.W., Albuquerque, NM. The celebration will offer free sugar skull decorating at 2pm. The event will also feature artist Felicia Montoya offering Muertos-themed buttons and magnets. Info: 505-897-8203.
Nov 1 – Despedida
The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) will hold its annual free community event, Despedida (Farewell) to celebrate Día de los Muertos on Nov 1, 5-7pm, with music, poetry, and hands-on art at this time-honored community gathering. This is a great event for all ages. Tour the ofrendas around the NHCC campus and enjoy music, poetry, traditional hot chocolate mexicano, pan de muerto, and the sharing of heartfelt memories. Info: 505-246-2261 or nhccnm.org.
Nov 1 – ¡Calavera! ABQ Hispano Chamber
Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Turquoise Museum, 400 2nd St. SW, Albuquerque, with the ABQ Hispano Chamber of Commerce annual celebration of ¡Calavera! Connect with our Community, Commerce and Culture at the mysterious downtown castle. Event offers appetizers stations, cash bar, photo booth, face painting (if you don’t come dressed and ready) artist booths, an ofrenda to bring pictures of your loved ones and a night of music and dancing. Enjoy a car show, outdoor patios, and the 2020 GALA Fashion Show in the backyard pool garden. ¡Calavera! also hosts a contest for best Calavera fashions: Couples Contest:1st Place will be awarded Mr. & Mrs. Calavera and be introduced at the 2020 La Noche Encantada Gala, and also receive a cash prize, two Gala tickets worth $400 and one-night stay at the DoubleTree. 2nd Place will receive a cash prize, two Gala tickets worth $400; and 3rd Place will receive a cash prize. Single Contest: Best Dressed Male/ Best Dressed Female: will receive cash and an appearance in the Chamber’s Gala Launch commercial in January & February 2020. Tickets $60 each or 2 for $100. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or Angelique Baca at 505-842-9003.
Nov 2-4 – Family Celebration in Mesilla
In historic Mesilla, NM the Día de los Muertos celebration will take place on the plaza, Nov. 2-4, where locals construct family ofrendas adding their relative’s favorite trinkets and photographs to honor their memory. All are welcome to set up their own ofrenda/altar, which come in all shapes and sizes. Join the candlelight procession on Nov. 2, 6pm as the dead are remembered. Homemade altars will be on display and a giant piñata for kids. Info: Old Mesilla Plaza, 575- 524-3262 ext. 116.
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