It’s time for the great cabin fever reliever, Snowdown! This year’s theme is A Rockin’ Snowdown, so anything rock ’n’ roll-related is welcomed.
I joined the Snowdown board of directors a year ago and have enjoyed the fun of Snowdown every year since I arrived in Durango in 2003. Snowdown is a great annual event that provides fun and positive economic impact for our local businesses.
This year, Snowdown starts Jan. 29 and runs through Feb. 2. New for 2020 are opening ceremonies at Purgatory on Jan. 26. The theme for next year will be revealed, and you can reveal your costume.
There are 162 official Snowdown events this year. Of those, just over 50 have been independently certified as being family-friendly. This means they are free or very low cost and do not involve alcohol. The Snowdown board has made a concerted effort over the past several years to do this, and we’re proud that one out of every three events is good for kids and families.
The Light Parade is one of my personal favorite events every year. The Light Parade is on Jan. 31 on Main Avenue downtown, and it starts at 6 p.m. sharp. The parade closes a big stretch of downtown traffic and parking, so there are expanded free transit options offered this year.
Every city bus is free all day, including the Main Avenue Trolley. From 3 to 9 p.m., two free park-and-ride shuttles are offered. One runs about every 20 minutes from the La Plata County Fairgrounds to the Transit Center. The other shuttle runs about every 40 minutes from Three Springs to the Transit Center. There are two pickup and drop-off locations in Three Springs – in front of Digs Restaurant at Mercado Street and Confluence Avenue, and at the main entrance to Mercy hospital. The last shuttles will depart downtown from the Transit Center at about 8:30 p.m.
There are 27 new events at this year’s Rockin’ Snowdown. One that I am excited about is the Rotary’s Red Ball Express. Red Ball Express is a fundraiser for the local Rotary clubs, and for local nonprofit organizations.
It works like this: Buy a ticket that adopts you two giant red exercise balls, then root for your two to finish the race course first, second or third. Red Ball Express will take place on 11th Street, from East Second Avenue down the hill to Main Avenue, at about 4 p.m. on Friday before the parade. Get your tickets for only $5 in advance from any Rotarian, a participating nonprofit or online at DurangoRedBall.com. First place pays out $5,000, second place $2,000 and third place $1,000.
I hope to see you out and about at this year’s Rockin’ Snowdown!
Tim Walsworth is the executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.