Dia de los Muertos in Denver: 7 ways to celebrate

On Día de Los Muertos, it’s believed the thin veil separating the living from the departed is lifted, allowing people to commune with the spirits of their loved ones. While the theme is one of both life and death, Día de los Muertos (Nov. 1-2) is a beautiful juxtaposition, and very much a jovial and colorful celebration.

Tradition allows for souls to return to eat, drink, play music and dance with loved ones. During this holiday, spirits are treated as guests of honor, with bright marigolds leading them to altars (ofrendas) filled with symbolic objects like sugar skulls, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), as well as photos and the drinks they most enjoyed when alive.

Throughout the Front Range, there are a number of festive events to honor Día de los Muertos. From community celebrations with altars on display and a culturally rich lineup of events at the Denver Botanic Gardens, here are seven ways to celebrate the holiday in and around Denver.

Colfax Art Crawl: Día De Los Muertos in Lakewood

An “art crawl of memories,” this free event is held in partnership with the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council and Pirate Contemporary Art. During the art crawl, view ofrendas that honor departed loved ones built by local Latinx artists, see fire dancers, and join a procession from the Teller Street Hub to Pasternack’s Art Hub. Food trucks will be on site. Free, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5 at 40 West Arts, 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-275-3430, 40westarts.org

Día de los Muertos Celebration at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Now in its 10th year, the Día de los Muertos Celebration at the Denver Botanic Gardens includes a community altar and a lineup of events, with highlights including a dance demonstration by Aztec Group Huitzilopochtli, live art demonstrations, plus morning and afternoon calavera costume contests. The Mercado showcases Colorado artists selling original works. Tickets are $11-$15 or free for members. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., Denver, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org

Día de Los Muertos Community Celebration with Denver Art Society

Join a neighborhood Día de Los Muertos celebration and help create a beautiful community altar at this celebration that will include music and dance and showcase art from more than 100 local artists. The celebration will include music, dance and art from more than 100 local artists. There  also will be mask painting, Danza Azteca Ceremonial Dancers, and a costume contest, plus snacks and libations. Free, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at Denver Art Society, 734 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, 303-534-1132, denverartsociety.org

Altars and Art in Longmont 

Longmont holds a nearly month-long Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration that runs through Nov. 7. While the family celebration was held earlier in October, there’s a chance to go on a self-guided tour downtown and see the more than two dozen altars created by local businesses. Also, the Longmont Museum has a Día de los Muertos exhibition and the Firehouse Art Center hosts community-made Catrina paintings alongside work from emerging and established local and national artists. For more information, visit downtownlongmont.com.

37th Anniversary Pirate’s Celebration of Día de los Muertos 

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with a reception at Pirate Contemporary Art. The Nov. 5 celebration includes Aztec dancers, piñatas for both adults and children and a candlelight procession. The art is created by local students and on display through Nov. 7. Free, 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Pirate Contemporary Art, 7130 W. 16th Ave, Lakewood, 303-909-5748; pirateartonline.org/dod

Fiesta de los Muertos on South Pearl

Organized by South Pearl businesses 5 Green Boxes, a boutique, and Ruby’s Market, a local-global marketplace, the Fiesta de los Muertos celebration includes a community mural art, headband making, shrine building, piñatas and more. While the event is free, the organizers are asking attendees to RSVP on Eventbrite. Free, 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at 1500 Block of S. Pearl St., Denver, 303-777-2331 or 303-733-2784, rubysmarketdenver.com/events

Día de los Muertos at Cervecería Colorado 

Enjoy craft cervezas and free sugar skull painting at Cervecería’s Día de los Muertos celebration. With your first purchase of a Churro Stout draft, you’ll receive a complimentary fresh churro straight from the brewery’s new DBC Eats food truck. A special game of Lotería will include prizes like tickets to the Denver Botanic Gardens.All ages are welcome. Free, 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Cerveceria Colorado, 1395 Platte St., Denver, 720-279-8248, cerveceriacolorado.com


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