People fly out for these parties. They also sell out every year.
If you're in Colorado in October and looking for the best spooky, costumed action, here are your two no-fail, best bets. Just make sure you wear a costume. At one, costumes are required, and at the other, there's a massive $2,000 costume contest prize, judged by horror-flick celebrities.
Both of these adult-only parties are held by Kevin Larson Presents. The first is for the more risque', arguably the naughtiest place to trick-or-treat in the state. The second is still pretty wild, but a little more scary than sexy. Both have nearly tons of top-notch performers and decorations that are hard to beat.
Add these events to your Colorado bucket list.
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The Victorian Fetish Ball
What: The 17th-annual Victorian Fetish Ball
When: Opens 7 p.m. Oct. 15, 2016
Where: Diamond Cabaret & Diamond After Dark, 1222 Glenarm,
Tickets: Start at $39 for women and $79 for men.
The Fetish Ball began when Kevin Larson, of Denver, and his brother decided to hold a Halloween party, because they were sick of people not dressing up for the holiday. They started with 200 people and made costumes mandatory.
"Back then, you go in a bar and only 20 percent of the people were wearing a costume," Larson says.
After a few years, he decided to make it more sexy and call it the "fetish ball." That tripled attendance immediately, with lines out the door and people turned away.
Fetish, in this case, encompasses costumes from leather and latex to feathers and lace. It runs the full gamut and is not limited to a specific niche.
Larson moved to a bigger venue with a 1,200 capacity and has sold out every year since.
The Fetish Ball was originally on Halloween weekend, but he... bumped it two weeks earlier to allow for a second party. Many people do both parties.
"The scandalous, sensual party, and then take a week off and come out for the mainstream party," he says.
Larson says what makes the Fetish Ball unique is its positive atmosphere. In 17 years, he says there's never been a fight.
"Live life to its fullest, enjoy it, accept others, celebrate that people are different - that keeps things fun," he says. "It's always been a time to come out, have a great time, be positive, live life with passion, push your boundaries and experience new ideas."
New this year
This year, you will find an electrical-tape artist designing outfits entirely out of tape.
Also new: a sex toy race track, saddle races (like a mechanical bull), acro-shibari yoga, a Vinyasa flow yoga routine, Magic Mike Male review, large balloons that you can crawl into, a 12-foot live python and a full BDSM dungeon.
The Fetish Ball has three floors.
You'll also find pole acrobatics, a 3D Twister Board, psychic readers, body paint, swings, a fully nude room and more.
"The biggest tip we have for everybody is make sure you move around. It's very easy to get in a room, everyone's in costume, which is entertainment in their own right, and then there are performers on stage with cool acts," Larson says. "You blink your eyes and it's over."
Instead, he says, "Wander through the back hallways. You'll run into great people in crazy costumes having a great time. It is insanity."
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What: The eighth-annual Paranormal Palace
When: 9 p.m. Oct. 29, 2016
Where: McNichols Civic Center Building, 114 W. Colfax Ave., Denver
Tickets: Start at $79, alcohol included; only 21 and up
The Paranormal Palace started as a party for a hotel chain, before it branched off and moved to the new McNichols building.
"It is so beautiful and so perfect for Halloween, because you have the Roman columns in front," Larson says. "We light up the whole front of the building to music. The columns stroke and light up."
Walk through the mouth of a 25-foot-tall skull to get into the party. Inside, you'll see Hollywood-level costumes, vying to win the $2,000 costume contest booty. In the past, there's been a realistic Big Bird and Iron Man (with a mask on hydraulics).
This year's theme is a loose steampunk theme, although... guests can dress however they want. Although costumes aren't required, maybe five of the 2,500 attendees don't dress up every year.
Features this year
The multi-level party has interactive booths, such as a psychic, tarot card reader and 3D photo booth, where you can scan your costume and print out your own 3D action figurines of yourself in costume.
That's the level we're talking about here.
You can also visit with snakes, lizards and spiders at the reptile booth or refresh at the hydration bar. Visit Eyesoar Images, a blind artist who makes "haunted" furniture out of coffins.
Throughout, you'll see 20-foot-tall spiders, huge fog cannons, a candy bar, 10-foot-tall mirror balls that light up with fire, live DJs, rope acrobatics (imagine a contortionist hanging from a rope), acro-yoga with fire, acrobatic slackliners.
"We're talking world-class talent, here," Larson says.
The bar on the third floor is decorated with a massive bird cage with a human bird inside, throwing chicken bones at the guests as they sit at the bar. The Crazy Carnival has all the carnie classics: the strong man, bearded lady, vaudeville acts.
Also this year will be the official launch of Kevin Larson's V2 Foundation.
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V2 Education Foundation
Learn more about the V2 Foundation here.
The foundation's message: "Live life with passion, respect and integrity. It's targeted toward anybody, but especially women."
Larson says he wants to bring pleasure into the world, instead of pain, and not shame people's sexuality and self-expression.
In fact, it was through that very goal that the original Fetish Ball was inspired, Larson says.