Snowdown Preview


Mia Boudreau, Reporter

For many, January marks the start of a new year, but for the community of Durango, it marks the start of Snowdown, our community’s biggest annual celebration. January 31st is the official first day of the 2018 Snowdown, with the festivities lasting until February 4th. The winter celebration invites locals to participate in events such as the follies (a community talent show), the parade, and dressing up in a costume that correlates with the yearly theme.

Snowdown is a tradition that started in Durango in 1979, by local John Murrah. He created Snowdown as a remedy the darkness of winter and seasonal depression that accompanies this time of year.

“It’s just a change in the winter drudgery, it gives you that something to look forward to after Christmas that’s not about buying things, rather,  it’s about doing things,” said a DHS teacher.

The community of Durango has been embracing this tradition for four decades now. This year, there will be new events tailored specially for the 40th anniversary.

“In honor of Snowdown celebrating 40 years, the Animas Museum will have a historical display of all years past,” said Snowdown co-coordinator Linda Brockman.

At Snowdown, there is something for everyone to enjoy. From the parade to the Kid’s Follies, there are plenty of age-appropriate events to get involved with.

Lots of people look forward to it and love getting into costume and stuff. It is a goofy fun winter event that has been here for a long time,” said So. Shelby Flory.

This year’s Snowdown has 154 events and activities in store, with over 20 new events this year, according to Brockman.

One of the most prominent events at Snowdown is the parade. Local businesses and organizations create floats and participate in the celebration.

“It’s amazing to see how many people put in the time to make floats and do routines for something that will last about 30 minutes,” said Snowdown organizer Mike Biery.

A feature unique to Durango’s Snowdown is the annual theme. The theme builds the foundation for the celebration; costumes, events, and parade floats are all made with the theme in mind.

Originally the theme was to be “Still Sporty at 40,” the idea was to celebrate winter sports with the Olympics in S. Korea coming up but selling the idea to the community was difficult,” said Brockman.

The theme was then changed to “A Black Tie Affair.” This theme gives locals a chance to dress up in more elegant, or fancier clothes.

“We are the outdoorsy type,  so ties and gowns, tiaras and cufflinks, it’s a rare opportunity indeed…Also, we may see some Sorrels with those gowns, but it’s Snowdown, so there’s always a welcome twist on things,” said Brockman.

Since themes are selected a year in advance, the theme for the 2019 Snowdown is already chosen, although, there is a theme contest for 2020. Entries can be submitted during Snowdown at Magpies Newsstand Cafe.

“It’s hard to put a finger on what makes the magic of Snowdown. Maybe it’s knowing so many contribute their time, maybe it’s seeing your neighbors get their goof on, or seeing the increased patronage at the business’. I just know that Snowdown brings smiles and unveils the Peter Pan in all of us!” said Brockman.