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
October 28 – Hyland Hills Parks & Rec: The Hyland Hills Park and Recreation Department will host a Día de los Muertos celebration, 10am-1pm, at the Perl Mack Community Center, 7125 Mariposa St, Denver CO, 303-650-7580.
November 1 – North Denver: Denver’s oldest Día de los Muertos Celebration will commemorate 46 years of quality educational service by Escuela Tlatelolco. This time-honored tradition begins at 5:30pm with a procession from La Raza Park (38th Ave and Osage St) to St. Dominic’s Banquet Hall, 2905 Federal Blvd for a Community Commemoration and Dinner at 7pm. The event is free and open to the community. Organizers ask that participants bring candles.
November 2 & November 3 – Heal Denver, an Alternative & Holistic Health Service in Denver, Colorado will host their annual Día de los Muertos celebration. Nov. 2, 6:30-9pm, ceremony and mural unveiling by artist David García. Nov 3, 6-9pm, interactive art, altar building, Altares de Antepasados by artist Belinda García. All events will be held at HEAL Denver, 938 W. 8th Ave, Denver CO. For more info 303-446-8800.
November 4 – Longmont Museum: Colorado’s largest Day of the Dead celebration is in Longmont for the Longmont Museum’s signature event, attracting more than 6,000 people to the exhibit, family celebration, and related programming. Longmont Museum & Cultural Center’s annual Día de los Muertos free exhibition runs through November 7. The exhibition will be in the Swan Atrium, showcasing traditional gigantes, giant puppets made of paper mache and fabric. Altars for the dead, created by members of the community, are a central part of the exhibit. The free family celebration on Saturday, November 4, 11am-3pm, will feature 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. On October 28, 1pm and 2:30pm, join a free tour of the Day of the Dead exhibition with bilingual tour guide Laura Zavala. Longmont Museum,400 Quail Road in Longmont. Info: 303-776-6050 or longmontcolorado.gov.
November 4 – Denver Botanic Gardens: The Denver Botanic Gardens, York Street will host their annual Día de los Muertos Festival, from Noon-8pm. The Gardens celebrates this fun and colorful tradition with activities, crafts and exhibits for all ages. Día de los Muertos costumes are encouraged. Free Gardens and event admission. Noon-8 p.m, Craft trucks; Noon-10pm, Community altar project; Noon-4pm, Face painting, tickets $15 (last ticket sold at 3:30pm); Noon-4pm: Children’s craft activities include Calaveras decorating, Posada print making; Noon & 3:30pm, Bilingual storytime with Jorge Avila; 1pm, 2pm, 3:30pm: Lucha Libre featuring live wrestling featuring local luchadores; Noon – 1:45pm, Calavera Costume Contest registration; 2pm, Calavera Costume Contest #1; 5pm, Candle lighting ceremony and moment of remembrance in a moment of silence to honor those who have left us; 5:10pm, Mariachi’s; 5:30pm, Aztec Grupo Huitzilopochtli; 5:30 & 6:30pm, Calavera Writing Workshop; 5-7pm, Sugar Skull Workshop with Chef Sosa – Calaveras in the form of sugar skulls, candies and masks are decorated in a cheerful manner with vibrant colors and glittery objects (while supplies last); 5–6:35pm, Calavera Costume Contest Registration; 7pm, Calavera Costume Contest #2.Volunteer Opportunities email@example.com or call 720-865-3565. Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., Denver CO 80206, 720-865-3500, Botanicgardens.org.
COLORADO / HALLOWEEN
October 27-29 Elitch Gardens: Elitch Gardens transforms into Family By Day and Fright By Night. Fright Fest: Alive! Halloween festivities invade the park throughout the part this 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. Info: elitchgardens.com/fright-fest or 303-595-4386.
October 28-29 Butterfly Pavilion: The Butterfly Pavilion, will host their annual Bug a Boo event, 9am-5pm. This favorite Halloween celebration features indoor trick-or-treating, a costume parade, invertebrate exploration, and fun family entertainment. Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 W 104th Ave., Westminster, CO 80020, butterflies.org, 303-578-3973.
October 27-29 Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield: The Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield location, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO will host its last weekend featuring the seven-acre corn maze. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges. Info: 720-865-3500.
October 27-29 & November 2 – Calavera Coalition New México: The Calavera Coalition in New México will host their annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration October 27-29, on the Plaza in Mesilla, New Mexico, featuring altars, Day of the Dead artists, food, music, dancers. Friday, Oct 27, 2-7pm; Saturday, Oct 28, 10am-8pm, featuring a Frida Kahlo Look Alike Costume Contest; and festivities continue on Sunday, Oct 29, 10am-5pm. On November 2, 6pm, the annual candlelight Procession begins on the Plaza and continues to the Old Mesilla Cemetery at 6:45pm. Donation of non-perishable food items is encouraged. All proceeds from this event go to Community of Hope and Casa de Peregrinos Food Pantry. No pets, no smoking on the Plaza per Town of Mesilla ordinance. This community fund raising event is free to the public. Info: Calavera Coalition New México, facebook.com/CalaveraCoalitionNM or firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 5 – South Valley Día De Los Muertos: The 25th Annual South Valley Día De Los Muertos Marigold Parade and Celebration in Albuquerque, New México will be held on November 5, the parade begins at 2pm at the Bernalillo Sheriff”s Substation at Centro Familiar and Isleta. Music, altars, food and art vendors to follow the parade at the Westside Community Center 1250 Isleta Blvd SW to 6pm. Come in your best calavera attire! The event is free and open to the public. Info: Centro Familiar and Isleta, Albuquerque, NM