How to Celebrate el Dia de los Muertos in Denver

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, has a strong following here, for good reason: A thorough-rooted Chicano presence in the changing borderlands of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, in addition as a newer arrival of Mexican immigrants, brought old traditions to newer cities like Denver.

The holiday is a loving remembrance of family members and friends who have passed but live closer in the ether for a day or two each year, at the minimum in our minds. That’s why we leave offerings of food and flowers for them to enjoy, and paint our faces to look like skulls. But this is not Latino Halloween-o, and there are rules for celebrating. Have fun and own your sorrow while honoring your ancestors. Paint your confront. Create an ofrenda to someone you loved and lost. Carry a candle to march in the dark with your neighbors, and proportion pan de muerto.

Here’s how to celebrate Día de los Muertos in and around Denver this year:

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Be a Catrina at the Denver Botanic Gardens Día de los Muertos Celebration.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Día de los Muertos
Saturday, November 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street
The celebration at the Denver Botanic Gardens is a complete day of ofrenda-making and other crafts, vendors, dancers and a nicho characterize. It’s also an opportunity to see the monumental fifteen-foot-tall papier-mâché alebrije, Xolotl, a colorful mythological beast from Aztec folklore produced by artist Óscar Becerra. All ncluded with timed-admission tickets.

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Pirate leads the way in 40 West for a Day of the Dead First Friday.

Pirate: current Art

Day of the Dead Community Celebration and Bob Luna Tribute
Exhibition: by November 7
Pirate: current Art, 7130 West 16th method, Lakewood
The well-entrenched co-op’s nearly forty-year relationship with the Day of the Dead really caught fire when Pirate moved to Navajo Street, in the heart of the Northside and just blocks from the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Pirate’s annual Día de los Muertos exhibition and celebration, never just an event for artists, survived its move to Lakewood a few years ago, nevertheless drawing in people from the neighborhood to participate. This year’s event has been a big reappearance, a memorial for one of its own, dynamic artist Bob Luna, who passed away in July.

Fifth Annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Celebration
Saturday, November 6, noon to 5 p.m.
McAllister Park, 750 West 96th method, Thornton
Here’s a big run-free-in-the-park, outside-inside Day of the Dead event for families, with all the right stuff: dancing, singing, food vendors, calavera-style confront painting, an art market and a La Catrina costume contest.

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Offerings for the dead on Día de los Muertos.


Breckenridge Ofrendas Community Celebration
Calaveras en Mi Ciudad: by November 7
Old Masonic Hall, 136 South Main Street, Breckenridge
Breckenridge isn’t quite ski-ready, but the resort town is more than primed to celebrate el Día de los Muertos with anyone looking for a weekend immersion in the holy Mexican ancestral remembrance holiday. Breck businesses hosted a self-guided walkabout around town to view community ofrenda displays honoring the dead; the main show at the Old Masonic Hall stays up by November 7.

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Community altars decorate the Longmont Museum for Día de los Muertos.

Longmont Museum

Día de los Muertos Exhibition
by November 7
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center, 400 Quail Road, Longmont
The Longmont Museum traditionally goes all out for Día de los Muertos, and earlier this month joined Firehouse Art Center and the City of Longmont for an amped-up celebration. Its annual Día de los Muertos art exhibition continues by November 7 with a characterize of community-made ofrendas and artwork by Longmont artist Mario Olvera, a muralist, painter, youth mentor and Aztec dancer.

See the 1960 Mexican film Macario.

20th Century Fox

Mexican Film Festival Double characterize
Saturday, November 13, 6 to 10 p.m.
Active Adult Center, 11181 Colorado Boulevard, Thornton
Thornton Arts and Culture slips in one last Día de los Muertos event on November 13: a pair of Día-themed films. The first, Book of Life, is an animated movie about Day of the Dead and other cultural traditions of Mexico and Latin America (for ages seven and up), and the second, Macario, is a 1960 supernatural tale from Mexico set on Day of the Dead eve. It received an Academy Award nomination — the first Mexican film to do so (for ages thirteen and up). Free, but register in improvement.

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