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Three Denton events to spice up your fall semester

Three Denton events to spice up your fall semester

Members of Mariachi Quetzal play at Denton's Day of the Dead Festival. Mariachi Quetzal played traditional mariachi music to a crowd on Industrial St. (NT Daily Photo by Rachel Walters)

Three Denton events to spice up your fall semester
August 08
16:29 2019

As the fall semester kicks off with move-ins, classes and first-day jitters, students will eventually need time to unwind and embrace the fall holidays to come. Denton hosts a variety of annual events including the Denton Halloween Fest and the Day of the Dead festival.

Here are three local events that the festive or not-so-festive folks can look forward to in the fall.

Calling all dog lovers 

Non-profit organization Dog Days of Denton will host its 26th annual Dog Days of Denton Festival on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the North Texas Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and includes various contests, live entertainment and food that will leave you and your pup “paws-itively” entertained.

Vendors from all over the city come to Dog Days to sell different foods, grooming products and arts and crafts suitable for both human and canine visitors. One highly anticipated highlight of the event is the Spokesdog pageant. Pageant participants show off their personality, talents and looks to a panel of judges, and the winner is granted the title of the Dog Days of Denton Spokesdog.

Freja the beagle-dachshund mix is lifted in the air by owner Kimberly. Freja participated in the Dog Days of Denton Spokesdog Pageant. (NT Daily photo by Rachel Walters)

This year’s festival will present an “expanded version” of the “meet the rescue” showcase. Pet rescue organizations will get the opportunity to talk about their services and showcase the pets that are currently up for adoption.

Dog Days of Denton executive director Kevin Lechler said the festival is the only event in Denton that has “officially gone to the dogs.”

“It is difficult to pinpoint one favorite thing about the event,” Lechler said. “If I had to choose, I guess it would be having the opportunity to be surrounded by dogs of every ilk, big ones and small ones and watching the love the owners have for them and knowing that both of their lives are better for having found each other.”

A cultural holiday special 

Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival is one of the largest celebrations that Denton has to offer. Every October, thousands of festival-goers come together to celebrate a blend of traditional fall holidays and customs including Día de los Muertos, fall harvest and Halloween.

The festival is a day-long event filled with fun for all ages and backgrounds. Notable attractions include the Twilight Lantern Parade, a performance by Cirque Du Horror, coffin races and much more. Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival gives attendees the opportunity to celebrate the fall season in ways that they are used to, while also immersing themselves in Mexican traditions related to Día de los Muertos.

Denton resident Nora Susko, 69, has been a vendor at Denton’s Day of the Dead since the festival made its debut in 2011. Festival-goers can visit Susko’s booth, A Fresh Perspective Face and Body Art, for face painting, glitter tattoos and custom-designed sugar skulls.

“It’s an amazing day,” Susko said. “I’ve made so many friends during this event and look forward to it each year.”

According to the festival’s website, founder and creative director of Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival, David J. Anzaldúa Pierce, said that he wanted to create a festival that “reflects the diversity of the people of Denton.”

The festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26 in downtown Denton and will kick off from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

LGBTQ-friendly Halloween fest

The Denton Pride Foundation will host its annual Denton Halloween Fest on Thursday, Oct. 31 at the North Texas Fairgrounds. The event kicks off Halloween night with live music, a costume contest and a drag show.

The Denton Pride Foundation president, Brian Ivanchan, said that the fall event was the perfect opportunity to bring students together “to celebrate Halloween and diversity.”

“We came up with this event for everyone,” Ivanchan said. “From UNT, to NCTC, to TWU, we wanted this to be a great place for everyone to come out when they’re here in town.”

The event is free and open to all ages. Attendees with head-turning costumes have the chance to strut down a runway in the costume catwalk or enter the costume contest for a chance to win a $500 cash prize.

Ghoulish festivities at the Denton Halloween Fest will begin at 6 p.m. and end at midnight.

Featured Image: Members of Mariachi Quetzal play at Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival. Mariachi Quetzal played traditional mariachi music to a crowd on Industrial St.  (NT Daily photo by Rachel Walters)

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