Special events and festivals go on all year in the Durango area. Many celebrate the hearty food and drink, including the annual Taste of Durango in May, when several blocks on Main Avenue are closed to cars to accommodate all the samples and festivities offered by the local restaurants. There are also children’s activities and live music. And the San Juan Brew Fest on Labor Day weekend brings brewers from all around to offer brews, food, and music. Plus, every Saturday from mid-June through mid-October the Durango Farmer’s Market brings fresh produce, baked goods, and more to the downtown area.

Of course there are plenty of non-food centered events as well. Snowdown! , the area’s premier winter celebration, takes places every January or February. There are more than 70 different events offered over five days, including downhill kayak racing, an outhouse stuffing contest, a Spam carving contest, and countless snow games. This is also the time to see Durango ’s only nighttime light parade.

Bicyclists shouldn’t miss the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic every Memorial Day weekend. This is when road bike races take place on the Durango and Silverton Railroad, on the 50-mile route through the mountains. And boaters will want to see Animas River Days every June, for kayaking and canoeing events in class 3 and 4 rapids, starting from Santa Rita’s Whitewater Park .

August is the time for the La Plata County Fair, held at the fairgrounds with animals, exhibits, a demolition derby, a family BBQ, and a livestock auction. And in true Western tradition, the Durango Cowboy Gathering every October means music, parades, and poetry celebrating the culture and heritage of the American Cowboy.

For exact dates, and even more events, check with Durango Tourism & Vacation.