2018 Durango Snowdown


The theme for the 2018 Durango Snowdown is “A Black Tie Affair” — as it should be, considering this year mark’s the 40th anniversary of Colorado’s favorite winter celebration.

Durango Snowdown will be Jan. 31-Feb. 4 and, per usual, will be jam-packed with Snowdown-a-licious activities, nearly all of which are silly, quirky, wacky, crazy and freaky. Just like we like it.

The Snowdown schedule of events is long and varied with activities such as keg cap frisbee golf, cricket darts, snowflake paper art, bicycle roller races, pantyhose bowling, a scavenger hunt, beard competition and more. The list is so long and so cuckoo bananas, we can’t possibly go through it all here, but we can give you some highlights:

Snowdown Fashion Do’s and Don’ts

Wednesday, Jan. 31, Noon-1:45 p.m.

New this year, Snowdown Fashion Do’s and Don’ts is an adults-only (but not X-rated) costume fashion show that  showcase why USA Today named Durango the “Worst Dressed Community!” Doors open at 11:15 a.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to start, and the meal will be served at noon. The fashion show begins at 12:30 and ends at 1:40 at which point everyone returns (mostly sober) to their day jobs. Models won’t be the only one in costume; guests should wear their wackiest finest for a chance to win a prize.

Snowdown Parade, Dinner and Firework

Friday, Feb. 2

4 -10 p.m. The Snowdown Parade Dinner will be dished up at the Durango Elks Lodge at 901 E. Second Ave. (entrance is on Ninth Street). Stop by before, during or after the Snowdown parade to fill up on vittles, er, “fine dining” for this black-tie affair. Dinner includes spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, drinks and a cash bar as well as prizes for the best costume.

6 p.m. — It’s time for the famous Snowdown firework — noteht lack of an “s” because it’s singualar. The solo Snowdown firework will explode around dusk and mark the start of the Snowdown light parade.

6 p.m. — The Snowdown Light Parade marches along Main Avenue from College Drive to 12th Street. Black Tie Affair-themed lighted floats dazzle as they drive down the Main drag, competing for trophies in 10 divisions with special emphasis on the theme and use of lights.

7:30 p.m. — Snowdown Follies is a classic Snowdown staple that will return for the 35th year. This Vaudevillian variety show is always irreverent and eternally funny with local characters performing and providing commentary. The Follies will take the stage simulatenously at two theaters: the Henry Strater Theatre , 699 Main in the Strater Hotel, and at the Durango Arts Center Theatre , 802 E. Second Ave. There will be a cash bar to help ensure the audience likes the show!

Snowdown is a great time to visit Durango. The entire town is buzzing with fun and funny stuff; every which way you turn is another wack-a-doo thing to do. Stay with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites while you’re taking in all that Durango Snowdown has to offer! We’re fun and wacky, too, but in only in all the good ways.

Durango Polar Express Train

Durango train Polar Express conductor
Not Tom Hanks…this time. (Photo: DurangoTrain.com)

Will Tom Hanks be there? Well, we can’t say for sure he won’t be on the Durango Polar Express train, but you’ll have to ride to find out for sure. However, we know with certainty that one celebrity will be there: Mr. Claus himself.

The Polar Express Train Ride is the Durango and Silverton train’s premier annual event, and cars fill up quickly with Santa-seeking, Christmas-loving, pajama-wearing kiddos. The Durango Polar Express ride runs nearly every night through Jan. 2 with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The award-winning childhood classic, the Polar Express, comes alive aboard the Durango train as the Conductor, Hobo, Hero Boy, Billy, Santa and elves sing Christmas carols during the trip to and from the North Pole. Personal chefs serve each passenger hot chocolate and a treat and also read story on the train ride to the North Pole (cough*Cascade Canyon*cough) to pick up Santa.

Chefs will lead everybody in singing Christmas songs as Santa makes his way to visit each car to give a special gift to each kid!

Three levels of passenger cars are available. First-class cars include seating at tables and chairs, festive Christmas decor in each car and upgrades such as a souvenir Polar Express mug. Deluxe passenger cars have “flip-over” seating so people can face each other, tickets also include a take-home ceramic mug. Coach cars have forward-facing, side-by-side seating for up to 40 passengers per car.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a historic train that runs alongside the Animas River from Durango to Silverton in the summer and from Durango to Cascade Canyon wye in the winter. The Durango train offers a number

While visiting Durango (to visit the North Pole), stay with us at the Econo Lodge Durango! Warm up by the fireplace in our recently remodeled lobby. Our downtown Durango hotel is only a mile north of the Durango train depot, a straight shot on Main Avenue, and you can even ride the Durango trolley from our hotel to the Durango depot and museum! The Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango is one of the top affordable Durango hotels and is under new ownership. Book your room today!


Top Winter Activities in Durango, CO

Top things to do during the winter in Durango, Colorado:

  1. Purgatory Ski Resort

Purgatory offers a variety of ski and snowboarding activities. With beautiful runs, multiple restaurants, and less than 30 minutes from town you can’t go wrong.

Call the Econo Lodge in Durango to learn how you can

Ski Purgatory, & Stay Free– (970)247-4242.

  1. Polar Express

Take you and your little ones on a memorable ride to the North Pole on Durango’s very own Polar Express. Spend a magical evening in your PJ’s, drinking hot coca, and listening to stories on board the Durango Polar Express train. Visit the North Pole, and even meet Santa himself, all included with your ticket. Make things even easier by booking your train and hotel all at once! Click here for train and hotel package.

  1. Snowdown

Durango’s very own 5-day winter festival takes place the end of every January. With over 100 events, and days of festivities, this is one of the largest winter event in Colorado, and trust me, you won’t want to miss it. Check out more info on this years theme and schedule before you arrive (you wouldn’t want to show up under-dressed).

  1. Durango Train to Cascade Canyon

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gage railroad continues to travel 26 miles along the Animas River during the winter season. This ride offers breathtaking mountain views and river scenery, so be sure you pack your camera. Also, don’t forget the special event trains like: the New Year’s brunch train, Christmas Tree train, and Snowmobile packages with your train ride!

  1. SnowCats & Snowmobiling

There are many ways to experience a true snow adventure with breathtaking winter landscapes. The two best experiences that tie of these these both together would be snowmobiling, and snowcat adventures. Durango and the surrounding areas offer BOTH of these  winter adventures, now you just have to decide to do just one, or both.

Experience a unique ride in a snowcat with breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains. Purgatory offers multiple different snowcat adventures including: Dinner tours, snowcat and skiing and scenic tours.

Want to feel the wind in your face, while exploring the back country? Snowmobiling may be the perfect adventure, and the best part is that Durango offers multiple snowmobiling options. Here are a few of the most recommended snowmobiling adventures:

  1. Snowshoeing

Explore the beautiful San Juan mountain trails in the snow this winter. Durango offers many self-guided trails for snowshowing. Not an experienced at snowshoeing? No problem! Purgatory Resort offers guided tours and rentals all in one package!

  1. Sleigh Rides

Enjoy the brisk mountain air, and the jingle of the horses bell on a customized sleigh ride through a winter wonderland. With this adventure you can take a romantic ride, visit Santa, enjoy the beautiful Needles mountain range, and more. Pick the ride that most suites you and your party with either the Rapp Corral or Buck Livery sleigh rides.

  1. Dog Sledding

Head over to Durango Dog Ranch for a trip of a lifetime dog sledding through the San Juan Mountains. This family friendly activity is available for whole day and half day trips. Book your adventure at: Durangodogranch.com

Don’t forget to book your room for your next Durango adventure. Click here for rates and availability at the Award Winning Econo Lodge Inn & Suites.