Different colors of sugar skulls

Día de los Muertos Events Around the Mile High City

Different colors of sugar skulls

The tradition of sugar skulls is for families to decorate their loved ones’ ofrendas with both large and small handmade sugar skulls.

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday celebrated throughout Central American and beyond to pay homage to the deceased. Celebrated annually, the occasion was started by Indigenous Peoples centuries ago.

“Day of the Dead originated several thousand years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful,” noted Logan Ward for National Geographic. “For these pre-Hispanic cultures, death was a natural phase in life’s long continum. The dead were still members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit—and during Día de los Muertos, they temporarily returned to Earth.

“Today’s Día de los Muertos celebration is a mash-up of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts. It takes place on November 1 and 2—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on the Catholic calendar—around the time of the fall maize harvest.”

While its roots may be south of Colorado, celebrations in and around the Mile High City are abundant. Here are just a few being hosted by some of the area’s cultural organizations:

  • THE CENTER ON COLFAX Día de los Muertos
    Oct 29 • 12-3pm
    1301 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
    Drag performances, arts and crafts, food, and more! Collaborations and performances by Ariana, Brenda T, Marisol, and Ximena Latinx, Voz y Corazon by WellPower, Denver Public Library, and Ballet Folklorico Baile Caliente.
  • DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS’ Día de los Muertos Festival
    Nov 5 • 9am-4pm
    1007 York St., Denver
    Tickets range from $11-$15
    Denver Botanic Gardens returns with its Día de los Muertos Festival. There are many fun activities planned throughout the day, including a Mercado, a Calacas display, printing press demonstrations, and more.
  • LONGMONT MUSEUM’S Día de los Muertos Exhibition
    Now – Nov 6
    400 Quail Rd., Longmont
    The Día de los Muertos exhibition returns to the Museum’s Swan Atrium this fall featuring ofrendas (altars) built by community members and the work of local artists.
    Nov 4 • 5-9:30pm
    861 Santa Fe Dr., Denver
    Museo de las Americas continues its Cultural First Friday with light refreshments, artisan vendors, music, dance and family-friendly activities in celebration of Día de los Muertos.