Durango Fiesta Days 2018

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It’s that time of year: Durango Fiesta Days returns to the La Plata County Fairgrounds!

Fiesta Days 2018 promises to deliver another week of fun, fair and festivities — just as it has every year since it was first established in 1935. The weeklong event celebrates the history and heritage of Durango with family fun that includes a parade, rodeos, a chuckwagon cook-of and a barbecue and street dance complete with a pie auction!

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to celebrate Durango’s Western heritage at the 83rd Annual Fiesta Days, and check out the schedule of events so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!

Tuesday, July 24

10 a.m.-4 p.m. — SnowTop Exceptional Rodeo at La Plata County Fairgrounds

Wednesday, July 25

4 p.m. — Fiesta Royalty 4D Barrel Jackpot, enter at 4 p.m., with juniors to follow and open to follow juniors

Thursday, July 26

8 a.m. — Team Roping Slack
10 a.m. — Vendor Village opens
11a.m. — Fourth Annual Phil Brevik/Melvin Haga Memorial Team Roping Jackpot, Enter at 11 a.m., rope immediately following NMRA TR Slack
1 p.m. — Enter at 1 p.m. for Phil Brevik Memorial Ladies Open Breakaway immediately following Memorial TR Jackpot
5:30-11 p.m. — Basin High School Rodeo Team barbecue, pie auction and street dance

Friday, July 27

9 a.m. — Rodeo slack starting with Open Barrel Racing
7 p.m. — First rodeo performance

Saturday, July 28

10 a.m. — 83rd Annual Durango Fiesta Days Parade
1 p.m. — Second rodeo performance
6:15 p.m. — 2018 Fiesta Queen Coronation
7 p.m. — Third rodeo performance

Sunday, July 29

9 a.m. — Cowboy Church in the Grandstands
9:30 a.m. — Cowboy Pancake Breakfast on the patio
1 p.m. — Fourth rodeo performance

The Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is the perfect place to stay while you’re in town for Durango Fiesta Days. Our newly renovated hotel is located just a few blocks south of the fairgrounds, so it’s a quick and easy trip to get to all the family-friendly fun. Book your room with us at the Econo Lodge Durango today!

Durango Train-Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

A young Durango train passenger waves to rafters on the Animas River from a passenger car. Photo: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is aiming to resume coal-fired steam locomotive trips between Durango and Silverton this week, depending on weather and fire conditions.

The Durango train suspended its coal-fired steam train passenger service as a result of the 416 forest fire that briefly closed San Juan National Forest in June. Durango train officials worked with local authorities, agencies and other community leaders to instead launch limited diesel locomotive passenger service through this Wednesday, July 11.

If the Durango train isn’t able to resume service to Silverton using its historic coal-fired locomotive, the railroad will continue to offer diesel train trips to Cascade Canyon, a journey that allows passengers to see a majority of the most beautiful scenery along the route, including the High Line.

Between July 5 and July 11, the Durango train also launched two additional daily, round-trip diesel locomotive excursions. These hour-long trips travel from the downtown Durango train depot to an event park located just outside the city. The special summer train adventures take passengers through historic Durango along the Animas River to their destination in the Animas Valley.

Durango train officials chose July 12 to restart coal-fired steam engine service based on current weather forecasts, which project an improved chance of precipitation. Crews have also been working to complete track and right-of-way repairs in the fire-affected areas and complete a full inspection of the rail line prior to resuming service. The railroad will continue to monitor these and other factors in the coming days, and it reserves the right to modify the service resumption date if weather patterns and fire conditions do not improve.

Passengers who bought steam train passenger service excursions to Silverton that have been canceled can opt to receive a full refund, transfer their tickets to ride the Cascade Canyon Express, a diesel train locomotive experience through the San Juan Mountains, or reschedule their trips for when steam train service resumes. Visitors can find fare and schedule information for these excursions at www.durangotrain.com.

In the meantime, the Durango & Silverton train encourages visitors and to stop by the Durango train depot for scheduled railyard tours and free museum admission.

While you’re visiting Durango for your summer vacation, be sure to stay with us at the Econo Lodge Durango! The Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites is one of the best hotels in Durango (according to our guests), where you’ll find our newly renovated lobby and updated guest rooms. Book your stay today!

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June is nearly over, and July is nearly here. And, for more than 30 years, July has meant the start of a Durango summer staple: Music in the Mountains.

Music in the Mountains is a music festival and conservatory program that features world-class musicians, orchestra performances and chamber concerts under the white peaks of the festival tent at Purgatory Resort.

Every summer since 1987, the Music in the Mountains festival has brought live music to venues in and around Durango. Although its history is rooted in classical music and chamber concerts, Music in the Mountains has expanded and diversified its offerings, and the 2018 schedule features world music and family concerts as well as access to open rehearsals and pre-performance lectures.

From the Music in the Mountains website:

In 1987, Maestro Mischa Semanitzky dreamed of a classical music festival in Durango and set his vision in motion. Through support from Fort Lewis College, The Durango Herald, Durango Mountain Resort, Morley Ballantine and Bank of Colorado, the original concert season was born. The first season included five concerts and featured 11 musicians, all of whom were members of the Dallas Fine Arts Chamber Players, a group also founded by Semanitzky.

In response to the growing interest of local and regional audiences, Music in the Mountains has steadily broadened its programs for more than 30 years – increasing the number of concerts and venues. Conceived originally as a fully integrated summer music festival, a chamber music series was introduced in 1997, under the direction of Gregory Hustis, principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Now more than 100 world-renowned musicians entertain audiences of all ages during the three week festival.

Concerts and Events

Music in the Mountains kicks off July 7 and runs through July 29 and will feature nearly 20 performances throughout the festival’s three-week run (be sure to check the schedule so you don’t miss out on any amazing events). Festivities getting rolling Saturday, July 7, with a World Music Concert by The Hunts, an indie-folk band from Virginia, at Bayfield Performing Arts Center.

Other festival performances include benefit events, such as the Chocolate Indulgence benefit July 11 at Purgatory Resort that will feature artisan desserts from Animas Chocolate Co. and Ore House Restaurant paired with specialty cocktails, wine and beer — all before a cappella powerhouse Backtrack Vocals takes the stage.

Family concerts feature kid-friendly fun, like the Green Eggs and Ham dinner and concert July 12 at Fort Lewis College’s Community Concert Hall. Guests can enjoy a picnic dinner before the festival orchestra concert that’s designed for Thing 1 and Thing 2 and their parents.

You can buy your tickets online or by phone and either pick them up at the Music in the Mountains’ downtown Festival Office at 515 E. College Drive, have them mailed to you or pick them up at the will-call booth one hour before the concert.

Concert Venues

Music in the Mountains’ festival tent is located at Purgatory Resort about 30 miles north of downtown Durango on U.S. Highway 550 — a straight shot north of the Econo Lodge Durango. The tent is located at the base of the ski area. Although many concerts are held at the festival tent, Music in the Mountains includes performances at several other venues throughout Durango and other nearby communities.

Stay With Us

Summertime in Durango is all about fun and festivals, and summer vacations in Durango give visitors plenty of both to choose from. While you’re here, be sure to catch a Music in the Mountains concert and stay with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites! Guests consistently rank us among Durango’s best hotels, so book your room at the Econo Lodge Durango today.

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Durango knows how to do holidays. Most of the time there’s costumes, and there’s almost always a parade — sometimes on Main Avenue, sometimes on the Animas River, sometimes both. But the Fourth of July in Durango involves the best of the best of all holidays: pancakes, parades, costumes, concerts, fireworks and a big, ol’ street dance (except no Santa and no trick-or-treating). So here’s your guide to having the best July 4 in Durango:

Breakfast and Fun Run

Eating and jogging? Don’t worry; there’s plenty of time to digest those pancakes (carb-loading, anyone?) before you set out on the 5k Fun Run/Walk. The All-American Gourmet Breakfast will be served from 7:30-10:30 a.m., and the free all-ages fun run starts at 9 a.m., both at Rotary Park. Arrive by 8:45 a.m. to register for the run. There will also be live music and a reading of historical documents at the park.

July 4 River Parade

Cool off on the Animas River during Mild to Wild Rafting’s 4th of July River Parade! This annual tradition is a parade of rafts filled with crazy-costumed rafters that flows through downtown Durango. The best part is there are five times to either get on the river or watch from the banks: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Kids get a Fourth of July souvenir, and there’s even a prize for best costume, so be sure to wear your most patriotic getup!

Family Fun Picnic

Next up on the list of things to do for Fourth of FUN? The Family Fun Picnic! Activities kick off at noon at Buckley Park. There, you can listen to readings from our nation’s founding documents, enjoy live entertainment by Cannondolls and Pete Giuliani, and get your fill of killer food and drinks (all proceeds benefit Build Homes for Heroes). There will also be two free concerts at Rotary Park: Southwest Civic Winds’ Concert Band will play at 10:15 a.m. followed by a performance by the Southwest Civic Winds Jaxx Band at 11:30 a.m.

Stars and Stripes Parade

For July 4 in Durango, there’s one event that’s second only to the actual fireworks display to mark the occasion: the annual Stars and Stripes Parade along Main Avenue. The parade starts at 6 p.m. at College Drive and will end at 12th Street.

Street Dance

Immediately after the parade, head over to Main Avenue and 11th for the annual Durango Street Dance. Get you groove on or scoot your boot or whatever kind of dancing (within reason) you want to do during the street dance, which ends just after 9 p.m. Then it’s time for…

Fireworks!

It’s not the Fourth of July in Durango (or anywhere for that matter) without something exploding — preferably fireworks. The show starts at about 9:15 p.m., and you’ll find great views on any downtown cross street facing west.

IndependenTS Week

Not that you’re lacking for things to do in Durango for the Fourth of July, but there’s another type of celebration going on this week: a celebration of our independent businesses. Durango has an amazing community of locally owned businesses that make and sell it all: Breweries tapping their craft beer, artists selling paintings, sculptures and jewelry, chocolatiers selling artisanal chocolates, local wineries pouring their special blends — we could go on and on.

Durango Independents Week will run July 1-7 to celebrate Durango’s spirit of entrepreneurship and community. Local First, a nonprofit that serves local, independent businesses in La Plata County, is the organization behind the local Independents Week as part of the larger, nationwide movement to “recognize the importance of economic democracy and community self-determination.”

So how to you participate? Pick up a Local First Passport on Saturday, June 30, at Local First’s booth at the Durango Farmer’s Market, located in the parking lot of the First National Bank of Durango, or anytime between July 1-7 at Local First, Maria’s Bookshop, Smiley Cafe, ACE Kroegers Hardware, Sante, Wagon Wheel Liquor, Animas Trading Co., Urban Market, The Durango Welcome Center, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, Salt 360 Float Studio, The Soup Palette, the Spaaah Shop or the La Plata County Humane Society.

For every purchase you make, you get a stamp, and for every five stamps you collect, you’ll be entered to win one of the awesome prizes! Passports must be submitted by Monday, July 9, and winners will be chosen on Wednesday, July 11.

The week of July 4 is the perfect time to visit Durango. Clearly, we have a lot of fun stuff happening, plus all the usual great summer activities: tubing on the Animas, mountain biking, hiking, you name it.

Speaking of supporting local businesses, the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites is under new, local ownership! If you’re looking at Durango hotels for your trip, stay with us! We’re consistently rated one of the best hotels in Durango, so book your room at the Econo Lodge Durango today!

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Mother’s Day gets a lot of the attention, but believe you me, fathers want to be celebrated on Father’s Day, too. But instead of brunch and flowers, check out these car shows and craft breweries and other things to do in Durango for Father’s Day.

Durango Brewery Tour

Line up a DIY tour of Durango’s craft breweries — and then see if you can make it to all of them! In alphabetical order, be sure to check out Animas Brewing Co., Brew Pub and Kitchen, Carver Brewing Co., Durango Brewing Co., Ska Brewing Co. and Steamworks Brewing Co. Stick to flights and add some food, and you just may be able to make it through all six Durango breweries still standing!

Cars and Cruise-Ins

Durango Harley-Davidson is hosting a Father’s Day “Ride-in, Drive-in” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the dealership, 750 S. Camino Del Rio in Durango. The event is open to anyone. As they say: “Have a cool car? Bring it. Into cool cars? Come over.” And admission is free!

Pit-A-Billy, a non-profit that hosts events to raise money for local animal shelters that support “bully breeds,” is having a car show and cruise-in at Ska Brewing on Sunday, June 17. Three Fearless Peasants will provide live music from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and guests can enter a raffle. Come for the free music and to check out some cool cars, but be careful: You may go home with a puppers or doggo from the adoption showcase!

Durango Train

This is where we would normally say a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad would be a perfect outing for Father’s Day. Unfortunately, the Durango train recently suspended its coal-fired steam train passenger service through at least Saturday, June 30, as a result of the nearby forest fire in San Juan National Forest. Durango train officials are still working with local authorities, agencies and other community leaders to evaluate the possibility of launching limited diesel locomotive passenger service later this summer when it is safe to do so. When that decision is made, the Durango railroad will announce all the relevant details, including fares, schedules and itineraries, associated with the new passenger service. In the meantime, the Durango & Silverton train encourages visitors and to stop by the D&SNGRR depot for scheduled railyard tours and free museum admission.

Get into Nature

The Durango Nature Center is open to the public on Saturdays, and is free for members and children under 12 and $5 for nonmembers. There, dads and their kiddos can explore miles of hiking trails, play in the river, have a picnic, earn a junior naturalist badge and explore the interpretive trail. On the upper 35 acres, visitors can also check out the Welcome Building and gift shop, prairie dog colonies, a sage-rabbitbrush habitat, a kids’ habitat play area, xeriscaping gardens and more. A footpath leads down to 105 acres along the Florida River where trails wind through a variety of habitats, including riparian, meadows, oak woodlands, piñon-juniper forests and desert arroyos. Trails are marked with signs at ending points and junctions, as well as with interpretive markers and maps along the way.

If you’re on a family vacation or just looking for some family time, come stay with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites. We rank as one of the best Durango hotels and are located on Durango’s main drag, cleverly named “Main Avenue,” just a short jaunt north of downtown Durango. So book your room at the Econo Lodge Durango today!