Snowdown – Durango’s Winter Festival

Durango’s Premier Winter Festival!

Dress up as your favorite Rock N’ Roll musician this year for the many exciting events and activities taking place around town.  This is the 42nd annual Snowdown and Durangotangs are going to rock it!

In preparation, you may want to sign up to host an event or register your rockin’ parade float for the 2020 Snowdown parade!

snowdown 2020 theme poster


Snowdown 2020 Events

Durango Downtown is your source for planning your 2020 Snowdown!  If you decide to enter an event, be sure to check to see if you need to register ahead of time.  Or click through to check out the venues and event pages.




Stay tuned for more events posted here as they are released!


FRIDAY the 31st 6 PM (DUSK)
Main from College Dr to 12th St
Durango’s only nighttime parade, where glamorous-themed lighted floats create a dazzling delight in Durango’s most entertaining procession along Main Avenue. Entrants are encouraged to incorporate lights on their floats. Floats compete for trophies in 10 divisions with special emphasis on the use of lights and theme.


Main Mall Commons-835 Main Ave

Hosted by

Animas Wine & Spirits, The Bookcase & Barber

What could be more fun than golfing dressed up as your favorite Rock’n Roll hero? This is golfing in amped up SNOWDOWN form! Over the top costumes + golf make this event a SNOWDOWN favorite! Each hole is located in a different downtown establishment and are created by some of the most talented golf hole designers in Durango. Download more info here PDF

Meet at 11:30 AM

wearing your most bad ass Rock n Roll costume to get your scorecards and assignments for the shotgun start at NOON.

Bring your own putter and golf ball.

Golfers will be in the hundreds, roaming through the streets of Durango. Spectators can catch a glimpse of the action at these locations: Carver’s Brewing, The Palace, The Balcony, The Irish Embassy, The Diamond Belle, Steamworks, Joel’s, The Elks Lodge, Derailed Pour House, Moe’s Lounge, Gazpacho, The Red Snapper, Durango Craft Spirits, Wild Horse Saloon, 2nd Ave. Deli, Olde Tymers, El Rancho, Father’s Daughters Pizza, Cuckoos, The Roost, The Garage, Fired Up Pizza

& Ernies 11th Street Station and more.

Event Coordinators

Joe Leder,Tom Cooper, Beau & Jenna Black, Animas Wine & Spirits- 385-9463

Event cost

$75.00 a team, must be 21+ to play.

Event Deadline

Entry forms must be postmarked or dropped off at Animas Wine & Spirits by Friday, December 27th.

Snowdown Bloody Mary Contest

Fairground Exhibit Hall with the Chili Cook-Off

Saturday of Snowdown
Preparation and booth set up
10 – 11 am
Turn in for judging:
1 pm
Open to the public for samples:
12 – 2 pm
Entry deadline:
Sat 10:30 am
Award ceremony:
2 pm
Judge’s choice overall:

1st : $250 | 2nd: $100 | 3rd: $50
People’s choice overall:
1st, 2nd, 3rd (Prizes vary)
Other categories
Spiciest, best garnish, best costume, most unique
Those who lay claim to Durango’s best Bloody Mary, or just like to make people smile, can show off their goods at the Snowdown Chili Cook-Off. Each team will receive a booth to decorate (optional) and prepare/serve Bloody Mary’s. Turn in for official judging begins at 11:00 am. You will make one Bloody Mary in a glass of your choice for presentation. Judges will all sample your Bloody Mary and judge for best overall. Contestants will then provide 4 oz samples in Snowdown-provided cups for the guests from noon till 2 pm. Guests can vote for the People’s Choice award.
This event fills up!
It’s first-come first-serve.
Additional questions, please contact:
Dusty Grannis: or 970-799-1681 (text is fine).

• All must be at least 21 years old.
• Must make at least 3 gallons of Bloody Mary; however, we prefer you make 5 gallons.
• 4-6 liters of vodka will be provided for each contestant. Contestants wishing to infuse their vodka can pick it up a week ahead of time.
• Contestants must mix the alcohol into the Bloody Mary Mix at the fairground. Bloody Mary mix and garnishes are to be prepared in advance to expedite serving. It goes fast!
• Turn in for judging one Bloody Mary in glass of choice (Presentation and garnish is encouraged) for official judging.
• Provide the remaining Bloody Mary’s to the public in exchange for tickets. Two tickets per sample. (Remember this is a fundraiser for Snowdown, no free samples please.)
• Only provide samples to guests with an age-verified hand stamp.
• Snowdown will provide 4 oz sample glasses and ice.
• Contestants should bring their own cooler or bus tub if they want ice near their station.
• Contestants will be disqualified if caught serving to anyone without an age-verified hand stamp.
• Based on previous years, contestants should be prepared to serve 300 samples.

Snowdown Chili Cook-Off


Fairground Exhibit Hall with the Bloody Mary Contest


Saturday of Snowdown

Preparation and booth set up

7:00 – 11:30 am

Open to the public for samples

Noon – 2 pm

Entry deadline

Sat 10:00 am

Award ceremony

2 pm


There will be official blind judging for the following categories with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd:

Vegetarian – Turn in 10:30 am

Green Chili – Turn in 11:00 am

Traditional Red Chili – Turn in 11:30 am

Homestyle Red Chili – Turn in 11:45 am

Attendants can vote for overall People’s Choice in RED and GREEN Chili only.

People Choice Prizes are donated from local businesses and will be given out for: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for Red and Green Chilies. Please note that all red chilies will be placed into one category for People’s Choice.

Other categories and random prizes will be given out throughout the event.

Categories and Judging:

  • Contestants can enter one or all 4 categories if they chose. However, they can only enter into each category once.
  • Vegetarian chilies can either be red or green, but must be completely vegetarian.
  • Green chili can contain beans, pasta, corn and any other fillers.
  • Traditional Red Chili must follow the International Chili Society standards for red chili.
  • Please note that chilies that are disqualified for Traditional Red Chili will be automatically entered in the Homestyle Red Category.
  • Homestyle Red Chili can contain beans, corn pasta and anything that makes chili unique to Durango.


Salsas may be made of any ingredient, including canned ingredients. They may be cooked or uncooked and may be prepared off site. Contestants can make as much or as little salsa as they would like. Additional salsa should be provided to guests free-of-charge.

  • Contestants wishing to participate in the salsa contest should provide their salsa to the public with chips no later than 10:00 am.
  • Contestants must provide chips or tortillas to serve with salsa.
  • All of the cooks will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite salsa between 10:00 am and noon.
  • Voting ballots must be turned in by 12:00.
  • Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at 2 pm.
  • Prizes for salsa will be various gift certificates from local businesses.
  • Any leftover salsa should be provided to guests free-of-charge
  • There will be no official judging of salsa this year and the cooks will determine the winners.


  • Set up and Cooking will begin at 7:00am Saturday of Snowdown Weekend.
  • One 3’ X 8’ serving table, one 3’ X 8’ preparation table and 2 chairs will be provided.
  • A minimum of 3 (three) gallons of chili must be prepared; we are encouraging contestants to make 5 gallons. Anticipate around 3,000 people at the event. Chili tasting cups are sold to the public as a fundraiser for Snowdown. Contestants must hand out 1½ oz. samples to guests from noon – 2:00 pm, 1½ oz. ladles will be provided.
  • Each team is limited to turning in one chili per category.
  • Each contestant will be furnished with an official judging cup for submitting their entry. Each judging cup will have a concealed numbered ticket attached with a matching numbered ticket to be removed and retained by the cook. Winners will be announced by number. This is a totally blind judging.
  • Kitchen facilities are not available for contestants. Water is available for cooking and cleanup. All booths must provide their own means of cooking (propane, Coleman stoves, etc.) Electricity is available, but you must furnish your own extension cords. All extension cords must be duct-taped down.
  • Traditional Red Chili must follow the modified International Chili Society rules below.
  • Homestyle Red Chili and Green Chili may contain any combinations of meats, chili, peppers, spices and other ingredients. Beans, tomatoes, etc. are welcome and can be precooked or canned.
  • Meat can be precooked; however, you must mix and cook the chili at the Fairgrounds.
  • Each contestant is responsible for delivering his/her cup, filled to the bottom of the cup rim, to the chief judge in the judging area at the required time.
  • Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at 2:00 pm.


A Brief History of Snowdown:

Every culture and society has its own “creation” myth or story.
This is ours…

…A long time ago back in 1979, the Land of Durango was covered in winter’s darkness and the People and Commerce were depressed.
A great lament was heard throughout the Land, as the days were short and bore little fruit.

And so it came to pass one dark day The Founder John Murrah
(the man who originally came up with the idea), heard this hue and cry.

He enjoined the Lords of Business (DACRA, as it was then known) and the Lords of Information Dissemination (The Durango Herald) that a winter celebration would bring Enterprise to the land and raise up the people in their time of need.
And so it came to pass that the Lords agreed and they seeded the project with $2,000 from The Durango Herald.

But a Celebration such as this requires more than a Founder to get started, and so a Great Coordinator was to be found, one to spread the word among the People.
And so it came to pass that Terry Fiedler was hired at $1,000 that first year to organize the project
(but to be paid only after all expenses were recouped).
The Coordinator’s word was good and jollity, commerce and mirth spread among the people.
And so it came to pass that SNOWDOWN survived and continued into subsequent years and Fiedler usually volunteered his time, occasionally relieved by others (which helped a lot). All was good in the land.

It came to pass that SNOWDOWN became well known, even beyond the borders of the Land.
SNOWDOWN then became a non-profit corporation.

The Great Coordinator and his Disciples (all the volunteers that believe in SNOWDOWN) decided that Fun should be the guiding light,
so to speak, and that SNOWDOWN should be independent from the Lords of Business.

Although the People could see the Light at the end of the tunnel and the Land prospered, the Lords of Business said “Nay”.
A great battle ensued and much thunder and bluster was heard throughout the Land
(the debate created a lot of hot air, which helped sell the paper).

Finally, a compromise was reached and the Lords of Business and the Great Coordinator and his disciples determined to rule jointly in peace.

And so it came to pass that a SNOWDOWN Board of Directors was created.
The original appointments to The Board of Directors of SNOWDOWN were three individuals selected by DACRA,
three individuals from the planning Committee, and three chosen by the current Board.

Under the current By-Laws, new members are elected by the current Board of Nine.

And so it came to pass that once again all was good in the Land.

The Great Coordinator smiled…. the People frolicked….. and the Lords prospered.

So SNOWDOWN continues to this day to bring Fun and increased Commerce & Tourism to Durango.


History provided by

Visit the Official Snowdown Website!

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