As the nation worries about the effects of Colorado’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, it can rest assured that a Coloradan’s first love is booze. And when it comes to booze, Colorado’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, delivers.
Back in 1979, Snowdown was created as a town-sized party to brighten the long Southwest Colorado winter — when the sun can duck behind the mountains at 2:30 pm.
With more than 100 events spread over dozens of locations for five days, it seems like the entire town turns out at some point.Though there are a few events aimed at families, the majority of them are for adults, and those adults are just as likely to be day-drunk 70 year olds as they are to be students from Fort Lewis College.
Across the city, bars are packed for days on end with people in costume. This year’s theme was “Safari So Good" — so lots of animal prints and pith helmets. Locals took part in events such as beer pong, the Bar Olympics, thumb wars, trivia contests, keg lid golf, outhouse stuffing, racy fashion shows and general heavy drinking, all leading up to the Snowdown fireworks and the wild light parade down Main Avenue.
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.