The greatest (and not the greatest) Snowdown themes ever

by Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

Sure, every Snowdown theme over the years has sparked amazing, creative costumes. But face it, some of our community-selected themes have been more inspiring than others.


“Steampunk Snowdown” | 2015

Steampunk is defined as “a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.” This theme was decidedly original and also challenging, aka not easy to pull off. Effort had to be put into making complex costumes. Plus, many members of the general public don’t even know what Steampunk is, so it exposed residents to something new (educational!).

“Snowdown Bites, It’s Monstrous” | 2011

Not the greatest title in the world, but this theme connoted monsters, witches, ghosts and mummies – and those things are straight-up COOL. It was basically like Halloween in January, and who doesn’t crave a second Halloween? Zombies are huge right now (“Walking Dead,” anyone?) and Addams Family characters are always sexy staples.

“Snowdown in Da Nile” | 2009

Aka Egyptian theme. What’s hotter than ancient history? This theme meant pharaohs, Cleopatra, snakes, hieroglyphics, sphinxes, gold stuff and kickass, elaborate eye makeup. Plus, it exposed Durangoans to a distant, foreign culture. Nestled here in our little mountain nook, it can be dangerously easy to forget other countries exist.

“An Old West Snowdown” | 1983

The inaugural Snowdown Festival took place in 1979, but for the festival’s first few years, the theme was simply “A Winter Celebration.” 1983 was the first year an alternate theme was introduced, and it all started with “An Old West Snowdown.” Nice beginning! The Wild West was aesthetically classic, with saloons where shoot-outs went down, brothels and tough old gunmen wearing holsters and heel spurs.

Could’ve been greater

“Get Your Geek On” | 2013

There’s not a ton you can do with this theme. Everyone basically wore suspenders and glasses with tape in the middle. This theme emphasized all the age-old clichés about geeks and nerds being losers; but without them, we wouldn’t have Stephen Hawking or Neil deGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye or Einstein.

“Once Upon a Snowdown” | 2012

This was a fairy tale theme. Now, I love fairy tales and fantasy as much as the next “Game of Thrones” devotee, but it’s sooo overdone. And not sexy enough for a bawdy fest like Snowdown! The theme should’ve been something similar, but spicier, like Gothic Fairy Tales.

“Surf’s Up” | 2010

Essentially, a beachy theme – aka boring AF. Forget the beach; we have mountains, of course, which everyone knows are better. Plus, it’s highly impractical for people to dress up for the beach in freezing cold January weather. Hypothermia much?

— Anya Jaremko-Greenwold


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