Fall holiday-themed events — including an immersive Halloween experience and Day of the Dead festivities — descend on Breckenridge | SummitDaily.com
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Fall holiday-themed events — including an immersive Halloween experience and Day of the Dead festivities — descend on Breckenridge

The Haunting of Breck Theater, Dia de los Muertos begin

Dia de los Muertos has many opportunities to learn about ofrendas this weekend on the Breckenridge Creative Arts District campus.
Joe Kusumoto/Breckenridge Creative Arts

The Halloween season has arrived in Summit County. While All Hallow’s Eve and Day of the Dead aren’t until the end of October and beginning of November, respectively, two nonprofits are kicking off the occasions this weekend.

Haunting of Breck Theater

Breckenridge Backstage Theatre is debuting a special, immersive Halloween experience set to entertain the whole family with food, crafts and more. Yet the main attraction is the haunted house. In the style of Meow Wolf or “Sleep No More,” people can walk freely through the space to choose their own adventure.

“We’ve totally converted and taken over every usable square foot, from the audience all the way back to the dressing rooms,” Producing Artistic Director Jacqueline Stone said. “We’ve flipped the whole thing.”



If You Go

What: Haunting of Breck Theater

When: 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on select nights now through Oct. 31

Where: Breckenridge Theater, 121 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge

Cost: $15 to $30. Visit BackstageTheatre.org to purchase.

Stone said they went in a psychological horror direction similar to the work of Edgar Allan Poe. As people explore, participants will meet ghosts of the theater’s past in rooms based on the region — like an Alpine ski lodge and a library, or one themed around an avalanche.

There are also various characters to aid with certain tasks or riddles, like a writer who needs help with a script. One room is about an actor’s nightmare, and people might be asked to perform a monologue for a director.



Meanwhile, the lobby will be the place for family-friendly offerings, such as a storyteller reading from Halloween books. There will also be take-home crafts so people can make Halloween picture frames or decorate their pumpkins.

Halloween treats and hot beverages will be for sale so people can refuel. For the adults, that hot chocolate can be spiked, or they can sip on a Halloween old fashioned created by Après Handcrafted Libations.

Adults and kids of all ages are encouraged to dress up, and there will be areas for photos.

The production happens both at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on various nights in October, and the entire experience — including the crafts and food on top of the haunted house — is expected to take 90 minutes total.

Those not looking for scares can simply take part in the activities minus the haunted house, or they can attend the 4 p.m. time slot. Stone said they’ve adjusted the spookiness to make that more G-rated, while the 7 p.m. event is roughly PG-13.

The house still has the same puzzles and other elements, but a few small adjustments have been made, such as adjusting the sound levels. Stone said it could be a good alternative if somebody simply doesn’t want a more extreme sensory experience.

“If you’re somebody who wants a good scare, there’s something for you,” Stone said. “But if you’re somebody who just wants to hang out and have a hot beverage with autumnal arts and crafts and take some really awesome photos, that is part of the experience, too.”

For the first time ever, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre is debuting a special, immersive Halloween experience set to entertain the whole family with food, crafts and more.
Branden Smith/Breckenridge Backstage Theatre

Dia de los Muertos

Breckenridge Creative Arts will also have a variety of activities to pick and choose from just down the road. In partnership with Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, the Colorado Folk Arts Council and Denver’s Mexican Cultural Center, the eighth annual Dia de los Muertos festival begins Friday, Oct. 14, and goes through Sunday, Oct. 16.

Friday’s opening night celebration features an artist talk with Arlette Lucero, Cal Duran and Renee Fajardo discussing their pieces for the “Recuerdos: Weaving the Dream” exhibit, in addition to live music. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at Old Masonic Hall, 136 S. Main St.

Saturday, Oct. 15, begins with multiple workshops on the campus at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. People can make sugar skulls, Katrina masks or loteria cards. Another, led by artist-in-residence Stephanie Mercado, is a coloring and collage activity for ofrendas — memorial altars — where people can learn about the symbolism and insert photos of the people they want to honor in frames.

The Aztec dance group Huitzilopochtli returns this year for a performance at 2 p.m. on Ridge Street Square, and a dance workshop follows at 3 p.m.

Also at 3 p.m., Duran will hold a demonstration into the process of making ofrendas on the patio of Old Masonic Hall.

This is Duran’s second time at the Breckenridge festival. The Denver-based artist got into making altars shorty after he joined Pirate Art Galley when he was 17.

“I never really grew up making altars,” Duran said. “My mom was adopted and my father is Chicano but was in and out of prison, so art has been this way for me to connect deeper to my lineage and culture. I had a bunch of elders from the community teach me how to build these ofrendas.”

If You Go

What: Dia de los Muertos

When: Friday, Oct. 14, through Sunday, Oct. 16

Where: Breckenridge Creative Arts District campus

Cost: Free. Visit BreckCreate.org for more details.

Now, Duran has nine this month alone. They can be seen at the Denver Art Museum, Colorado History Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens and other venues. Breckenridge’s ofrenda has mementos to his grandmother.

“She was a native of Colorado and New Mexico and she taught me a lot about art and creativity,” Duran said. “She passed away seven years ago, but I usually like to do an altar to her every year.”

Sunday’s activities includes the ofrenda collage again, but there will also be workshops on shadowboxes called nichos at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as a sweet bread called pan de muerto at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Starting at 10 a.m., Ridge Street Square will be the location for face painting and the Mexican Cultural Center market.

Duran said the holiday is special because it brings memories back for people who have lost loved ones. 

“I just really like doing that because it brings community together and shows us how important it is to honor the ones before us and have gratitude for this life and realm,” Duran said.

In partnership with Chicano Humanities and Arts Council, the Colorado Folk Arts Council and Denver’s Mexican Cultural Center, Breckenridge Creative Arts’ eighth annual Dia de los Muertos festival begins Friday, Oct. 14, and goes through Sunday, Oct. 16.
Avery Glassman/Breckenridge Creative Arts

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