Six totally bitchin’ Snowdown events you shouldn’t miss

by Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

We’ve highlighted some of the radical events at Snowdown 2016 for you, no advance tickets necessary. These are some of the festival’s most popular, cool and gnarly. Check ’em out!

Drag Race and Fashion Show

7 p.m. Thursday, El Rancho Tavern, 975 Main Ave.

Like to dress up as the opposite sex? Why not win a prize for it! This is a drag show and cross-dressing competition, open to all drag kings and queens 21 years and older. Free. Entry deadline: 60 minutes before the event. Prizes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Best Overall and Crowd Favorite.

Beard Competition

8 p.m. Thursday, Carver Brewing Co., 1022 Main Ave.

Contestants who entered the three-month-long “Beard Race” had to show up clean shaven at Carver’s the first Friday in November to have their photo taken as proof they didn’t get a head start. Men will present their faces to a panel of judges who select a winner. You can’t compete (unless you entered months ago), but you can certainly attend and enjoy all the manly scruff. Judges award prizes for best color, longest beard, the greatest beer-absorption beard and – for the ladies – best leg hair. Must be 21+ because apparently this event can get pretty hairy (ha ha). Free. Prizes: kegs, growlers, gift cards, brewery merchandise.

Waiter/Waitress Race

2 p.m. Friday, Steamworks (in the alley), 801 East Second Ave.

Coed teams of servers from area restaurants compete in a fun and messy obstacle course that incorporates waiting skills and ’80s zest. Teams must be comprised of two male and two female members of a local restaurant’s wait staff. 21+ only. Free. Entry deadline: 30 minutes before event. Prizes: 1st, keg of Steamworks beer; 2nd, $50 Steamworks gift card; 3rd, voucher for two pitchers of Steamworks beer.

Light Parade

6 p.m. Friday, Main Ave. from College Drive to 12th Street.

Durango’s famous nighttime parade. ’80s-themed lighted floats will be moving in a long procession along Main Ave. You must submit an application to participate – but anyone can watch! Event costs $65 per entry ($50 for registered nonprofits), deadline is Friday or when parade roster full. Prizes: Trophy Divisions: Mayor’s Choice, Best in Parade, Best Use of Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Hot Air Balloon, Best Children’s, Best “what the *%&# was that float” and more. Awards to follow parade, with a special return appearance by the Hill Stompers Band of Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Balloon Rally and Mass Ascension

8 a.m. Saturday, U.S. Highway 550, north side of Hermosa Meadows Road (Park at Animas Valley Elem. School)

Shake off that hangover because this event features majestic hot air balloons ascending in the early morning frosty air. Twenty-five balloons will float down the Animas Valley. You can volunteer for chase crews by calling the event coordinators, Phil Campbell, 375-4629, and Doug Lenberg, (505) 947-1242.

Outhouse stuffing

1 p.m. Saturday, Gazpacho’s, 431 E. Second Ave.

See how many of your friends you can shove into a porta-potty in two minutes! Don’t worry, they’re theoretically clean. After being stuffed in, can you stay in there with the door shut for 10 whole seconds? Must be 21+. Free. Entry deadline: 10 minutes before event. Prizes: 1st and 2nd, Gazpacho’s gift certificates.

Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

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