The Durango Business Improvement District, Durango Police Department and Visit Durango have teamed up to offer a child safety program during this year’s Snowdown celebration.
The 42nd annual Snowdown winter celebration is intended to be a wild and fun time for kids and adults. The Durango agencies want it to stay that way, especially during the annual Parade of Lights. Law enforcement typically receives one or two calls each year about separated families, said Cmdr. Rita Warfield with the police department.
“Thousands of people come to the Snowdown Parade, which we love, but with that many people, losing track of your little kiddo in the crowd can happen,” said Tim Walsworth, BID executive director.
The annual Snowdown Parade of Lights draws about 10,000 people to the city, said Julie Oskard, Snowdown public information rockstar. But there are no exact counts, and the Durango Police Department says it doesn’t have an estimate.
Interested parents can pick up child identification wristbands at the Durango Welcome Center at 802 Main Ave. until Friday before the parade, which starts around 6 p.m.
The agencies encourage parents to write contact information on the wristband and to take photos of their child/children with the clothing they will wear during the parade, with and without coats and hats. Parents can also place a note in the child’s pocket with the child’s name, parents’ name, home address and phone numbers.
If parents realize a child is missing, the Durango Police Department said they should immediately call 911 or contact officers stationed at the parade. Parents should remain in place until officers arrive. If a photo of the child is available, it will be sent to officers working at the event.
Then if someone finds a lost child, they should alert law enforcement and stay in the same location with the child.
“Parents are encouraged to take these steps to assist police and help ensure children will be found safe and unharmed if families get separated at the parade,” Walsworth said. “Snowdown is a fabulous event for our community, and we’re continually taking steps to make sure Durango is a wonderful and safe place for families to visit.”