Where: Durango and vicinity
When: Late January
Enjoy 5 days of fun, frivolity, and general craziness at this annual celebration of winter. Each annual event has a special theme, and locals really get into wearing appropriate (or sometimes inappropriate) costumes as they watch or participate in a multitude of events. There were over 75 special activities in 2004, when the theme was YabaDabaDoo-rango! (remember â€œThe Flintstonesâ€?), and cave-people were everywhere. In 2005: Superman & Batman capes prevailed at the Superhero SnowDown. Suggest the winning theme for a future SnowDown event, and you may win dinner for two or some other great prize.
Local teams of waiters and waitresses jockey for position in an obstacle race. Kayakers try to negotiate ski slalom gates at the nearby ski slope â€“ yes, while seated in their kayaks. There are bed races (another obstacle course), outhouse stuffing events (akin to the VW Beetle-stuffing contests back in the 1970â€™s), Spam carving (it may not taste any better, but at least it looks good), a feline fashion show (with paramedics standing by with bandages for the catsâ€™ owners), bobbing for prizes in a vat of ice cold beer (no hands allowed), childrenâ€™s coloring/poster contests (with youth savings account prizes!), balloon rallies (ooh, aah), and a Ullr Ski Obstacle Race where you â€œskiâ€ on 10 foot long 2 by 4â€™s (not a particularly graceful event).
Not to be missed: the Light Parade down Main Avenue. The parade begins with a Firework display. Thatâ€™s right â€“ one firework. Bundle up and enjoy the lighted floats and warm up briefly as hot air balloonists move by, firing off their propane burners (they donâ€™t bring the balloons to the parade).
The numerous events are held at various restaurants and other venues throughout the town, as well as at the neighboring ski area, Durango Mountain Resort. Many events are free (especially for spectators), but check the website or call for details about the activities that interest you. We also suggest you pick up a city map and a detailed map of the area before trying to locate all of the events â€“ or ask someone at the local businesses or hotels to help you with directions.
Hurray for winter in the Rockies!
For more information, contact:
SNOWDOWN Durango, Inc
PO Box 1144
Durango, CO 81302