The first day of Snowdown drew crowds out into the warm weather, making them merrier and more willing to hop from event to event. Here’s a roundup of some of today’s events:
Scotch Doubles Pool TournamentPongas’ Scotch Doubles Pool Tournament attracted 57 teams of two (that’s 114 total players) in what was the largest 8-ball tournament in the bar’s history. The game was in full swing at 8 p.m. with participants of all ages (children had to be accompanied by a parent), and was expected to drag late into the evening. “This is a record for us, and we’ve been hosting this tournament for about eight to ten years,” said owner Austin Zufelt.
Spellebration Spelling ShowdownIt is really n-e-r-v-e-r-a-c-k-i-n-g to stand up in front of a crowd and spell words. No matter if you write them down ahead of time, the nerves kick in and you suddenly feel the whole room literally judging you. It did not stop nine teams (including a team from The Durango Herald) on Wednesday from competing in the annual contest that is a fundraiser for the Adult Education Center. Rounds 1 and 2 went pretty quickly, but by the time Round 3 started, people were falling. Ingenue. Sauerbraten. Etiquette. Then came the tricky “h” and “r” words: hemorrhage and pyrrhic. Then the homonym round, which always trips up people. Pretty quickly, Round 4 eliminated teams. Teams were missing words left and right: rijsttafel, myrmecology, laodicean. The two teams left at the end – First National Bank of Durango and The Prom Chaperones (sponsored by Animas High School) – struggled. They missed a word; somebody bought them back in. Missed another. In the end, neither team spelled callipygian correctly, so it ended up being a tie.
The 40th annual Snowdown Bartender’s Contest: Selecting the official Snowdown 2018 cocktailThe Snowdown Bartender’s Contest started in 1979 and has been hosted by Moe’s for the last 11 years. On Wednesday afternoon, bartenders new and experienced duked it out for the coveted title of official Snowdown 2018 Cocktail. Moe’s was packed with spectators standing on chairs to get a better view of the action, as teams and individual bartenders took turns mixing drinks. There was a wide range of ingredients used in the cocktails, including sparkling wine, espresso, Pabst Blue Ribbon and orange juice. In the end, the judges could not decide on a winner and crowned two champions: Amber Jacin and Becky Joosten representing Guido’s, and Erin McCahill representing Homeslice Pizza. This cocktail victory marks the fourth win for Guido’s, whose team resembled James Bond and his Bond Girls. For Jacin, presentation is the key to winning. “The theatrics are the most important part,” she said. “We create a new drink every year for Snowdown. We think of the theme first and then what would go well with that theme.”
Fashion Do’s & Don’ts: Durango tries to class it upSnowdown 2018 kicked off Wednesday afternoon with the ever popular Fashion Do’s & Don’ts at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. The event closely resembled New York Fashion Week as more than 60 people strutted down the runway in their finest duds. Each model – some dressed to the nines and others more scantily clad – elicited cheers from the sold-out crowd. “We had more models than we’ve ever had,” said coordinator Hazel Owen. “Participation was great, and we sold out of tickets within an hour of them going on sale.” The models and crowd brought their own unique twist to the theme “A Black Tie Affair” with tiger-print suits and men dressed in drag.