Ah, the crisp smell of a cool overcast day as the clouds gradually threaten rain. Leaves the color of sunset dance a wind-led ballet across the street, parting as a woman ambles through the neighborhood, sipping spiced apple cider from some local shop. A black cat curls into a cinnamon bun on their human’s lap as she surfs the web for jack-o-lantern ideas. A man peruses the candy aisle, searching for a bag that has all his personal favorites.
At the time of writing, it’s still 97 degrees outside and my seatbelt hasn’t stopped trying to fuse to my arm. Not one of the above has come to pass yet, and if you’re like me – a person that becomes a cornered animal in the heat – then Spooky Season always comes as a welcome change of pace. While it’s never too early to talk about and plan for Halloween, it is admittedly much easier and more practical as the season draws near.
Starting with the most mysterious of any of the traditions I could find, we have the Headless Horseman of Lafayette – cue thunder crack. Every year on All Hallows Eve an unknown pumpkin-headed horseman rides around the city. This nightmarish figure has strayed a touch west of his original haunt –but he is just as terrifying, if not significantly less violent, than his depiction in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.
While it’s never too early to talk about and plan for Halloween, it is admittedly much easier and more practical as the season draws near.
Moving north, we’ll stop at Briggs Street in Erie on October 28th. Boo! on Briggs Street is an annual event between Moffat and Cheesman with trick-or-treating, a costume contest, and a storefront decoration contest. Trick-or-treating starts at 3pm and lasts until the event ends at 6 pm. The event is completely free, but if you want to flaunt your creative chops in the costume contest, there is a small $5 registration fee. Registrations start at 3 at the stage at Briggs and Moffat, with the contest kicking off at 4:30.
A newcomer to the arena is the Monster Mash Party. While this is only its second year, its first was a smashing success. Hosted by the Superior Youth Leadership Council at the Superior Community Center on October 28th from 6 – 8 pm, this free event includes a costume contest – split up by age group for fairness – live DJ playing all your favorite spooky songs, pumpkin decorating, a variety of games, and all the treats and snacks you can eat. If that isn’t enough, there are plans this year to partner with the Superior Chamber of Commerce to offer a Trick-or-Treat Street like the aforementioned Boo! Details are still in the works, so make sure to follow the Superior Youth Leadership Council on Facebook to stay up-to-date.
Moving up to Longmont, we have nearly a full month of free Day of the Dead celebration. Starting Saturday, October 14th, and going until November 5th, the Dia de Muertos exhibition at the Longmont Museum’s Swan Atrium will feature art from Local Artists and community-built altars. Opening day of the exhibit, Longmont will also host its annual Dia de los Muertos Family Celebration from 11am to 3pm at 4th Avenue and Main Street. The celebration will feature street food, arts and crafts, music and dance, cultural education, altars, and the iconic Gigantes Procession–a parade that features various mini-floats and decorations to honor the season. If this sounds like a lot, it is, which is why a free shuttle service will be available to ferry you between activities so you can experience everything this mini-festival has to offer!
Also in Longmont, Outworld Brewing is hosting a Halloween costume contest on the 31st, and given the atmosphere and decor of this incredible bar, this will be an unmissable event. Celebrations start at 11am and continue until just about midnight meaning you can spend the entire day here if you wanted.
… given the atmosphere and decor of this incredible bar, this will be an unmissable event.
On to a very family-friendly event in Louisville, we have the Halloween Spooktacular on October 30th at the Louisville Public Library. Open to kids 2 to 5 years old – as well as their caregivers – this event kicks off at 10:15am in the Library Meeting Room and goes until 11am. During this time, enjoy spooky stories, and songs, and crafts – as well as trick-or-treat around the library.
Over in Westminster we have Boo at the View. This event is returning for its second year after a very successful debut in 2022; over 1,000 people showed up the first time around. Hosted on Saturday, October 28th – a very popular day for Halloween celebrations – from 3-6pm at the West View Recreation Center Part tailgate, part trick-or-treat, children will be able to walk around the parking lot, collecting candy from car to car. This free event will also have onsite hayrides, crafts, face painting, and a balloon artist.
Out in Lyons is the Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund Rave to the Grave on Friday, October 27th. Details are still being finalized for this event, but if last year is anything to go by, Rave to the Grave stands to be a resounding success. Featuring live music at Lavern Johnson Park, Rave to the Grave managed to raise over $39,000 in 2022. With a pre-rave happy hour starting at 6, and various food trucks, this 21+ event drew in hundreds. Registration is required to enter, with a suggested $25 donation to LEAF.
For something more family-friendly in the Lyons area, be sure to check out the Lyons Spooktacular Parade the following day, Saturday, October 28th. Games and activities abound, all culminating in downtown trick-or-treating. I made sure to confirm the return of one key activity; the Stone Cup Chili Cookoff. Activities kick off at Lyons Elementary from 4-5:30pm, with the parade and trick-or-treating following shortly after. Be sure to keep an ear to the ground for the most up-to-date information.
Moving on to Thornton we have Harvest Fest on October 7th and its two satellite events: the Fishing Derby at Grandview Ponds and the Pancake Breakfast at the Thornton Active Event Center. Harvest Fest is a community event held at Thornton Parkway and York Street at Community Park that will feature live entertainment, food vendors, a beer garden for those no longer disadvantaged with youth, business booths, craft booths, and a skate park competition. The event will run from 10am to 5 pm on Saturday, October 7th.Admission for the Pancake Breakfast is $3 for Children and Seniors and $5 for Adults. Once you’ve had your fill, stop by the Fishing Derby at Grandview Ponds from 8 am to 11 am. This event isn’t for us lame adults, but is open to children 4 to 12 years old and is just $1 per kid.
With all of this happening in one day, there’s something for everyone.
Stanley Masquerade Ball hosted by, of course, Seayonce, will start Saturday at 7pm in Estes Park and features “the spookiest and most glamorous Halloween celebration of the year.” Not your typical masquerade, there will be comedy, a mystery, cabaret, and drag to keep you entertained and in the spirit. Can’t wait for the night to get started? Join the Magical Brunch Event that morning from 10am-1pm but make sure to reserve your spot.
And finally, last on the list–but certainly not least is Boulder. If dancing is more your speed, check out the Motown Haunted Prom on, you guessed it, Saturday, October 28th. Featuring a live band covering all of your Motown & Stax Records favorites, this single-night dance party is guaranteed to have you dancing in the street. And if you love to dance but are terrified of any public attention no matter how small, liquid courage will be served at a full bar on site. Doors open at 7 pm so you could feasibly add this to the end of your night after one of the other mentioned events. Motown Haunted Prom is located at Roots Music Project, 4747 Pearl Street V3A in the big blue building. There will even be a giant hand pointing to the door in case our excellent directions aren’t concise enough for you. Tickets are $25 ahead of time, $30 at the door, and there are $200 booths that can accommodate up to 5 people if you prefer something more private.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Meow Wolf. For the uninitiated, Meow Wolf is an immersive art exhibit/psychedelic experience that is near impossible to do justice with words.
But I’ll try.
This year, Meow Wolf is putting on two separate events during the month of October! Starting off with Wednesday, October 4th at 5:00 pm, Adulti-Verse: Spooky-Verse is a 21+ immersive experience celebrating everything spooky. To give a better idea of what the event has to offer, perhaps it is best to use their own description from their website:
“Wander in the realms of the wonderfully weird as we celebrate this spooktacular season at Convergence Station. Costumes highly encouraged!”
While that might not clear much up at all, with Meow Wolf at the helm, this is guaranteed to be an experience you won’t soon forget.
Following this, on Saturday, October 28th is the 2nd Annual SpooKiKi Ball. Once again, I think it is best to go to the source for information on this event:
“In 1979, Ballroom Icon, Paris Dupree, created the revolutionary dance movement known as vogue. Vogue was and still is the celebration of Black and Latino Trans and Queer people highlighting their beauty, talent, and ability to leave their mark in a world that tries to erase them. The House of Flora (@kikihouseofflora) is a KiKi house that originated in Portland, Oregon est. 2016 by Legendary Passa Flora, and in 2018, the house expanded its roots in Denver, CO, under the direction of Valentino Valentine, AKA Mother Flora…. The House of Flora has been seen elevating the subculture of Denver, collaborating with both local and large-scale companies, and building safe spaces for BIPOC QTs since 2018.”