Downtown Historic District
Today Downtown Durango is a Nationally Registered Historic District, with something special in store for each visitor. The downtown area has been coined “The living room of the Durango community” by voices of the Durango Business Improvement District, who have a 20-year revitalization plan in store for historic downtown that began in 1997. Downtown Durango is a central part of the city’s allure, business, and history, and Durango leaders intend to continually nurture the beautiful historic district.
What To Do Downtown
The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic was the brain child of Tom and Jim Mayer. Jim worked as an engineer on the D & R G W railroad which ran the steam powered locomotive between Durango and Silverton since the 1880’s. Tom challenged Jim, a young bicycle enthusiast, to a race to Silverton, so as the train came by the house, the steam whistle would scream and Tom would climb on his trusty old steel framed 10 speed and pedal up over the rim of the old volcano and descend into the caldera to the mining town of Silverton. Over the years several additional events have been added to the classic train race — criteriums, circuit races, road races, tours, BMX races, Trials, dual slaloms, team trail rides, and Mountain Bike Races — a full weekend of events every Memorial Day weekend for the past 31 years. 14,000 people nestled in the mountains of Southwest Colorado www.ironhorsebicycleclassic.com Music in the Mountains – Beginning in 1987 with 11 musicians, Music in the Mountains has grown to a three-week festival featuring musicians from around the world and offering orchestral, chamber, conservatory, and Pops concerts. Free performances for children and their families are featured during the Festival. http://www.musicinthemountains.com/ Durango Cowboy Gathering is an exciting, fun-filled event with evening performances and Saturday daytime sessions. Poets and musicians from throughout the country grace our intimate stage at the Diamond Circle Theatre, performing classic and contemporary poems and songs that will bring tears to your eyes and keep you in stitches. View the comprehensive autumn schedule of Durango in the fall guide. Holidazzle is an annual Durango promotion designed to boost retail traffic and subsequently sales revenues in and around Downtown Durango. Each holiday storefront is a feast for the eyes. View the comprehensive holiday schedule in the winter guide. HoliDazzle time of year officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving – the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. New Year’s Eve – Come celebrate New Years with us in Downtown Durango with activities centered around the Crossroads Clock Tower at 11th St and Main. Come out for this fun downtown event anytime between 7:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. SnowDown – Whether you are a local or just someone who needs to attend a week-long mid-Winter party, Durango, Colorado is your kind of place. From the costume ball to the zany street parade, Durango plays host to some eye-popping shenanigans, and people flock to the yearly SnowDown event. Be sure to follow the theme, and have a crazy good time. It is worth the trip. Durango Meltdown – One of the nation’s premier indoor bluegrass festivals, Durango Meltdown is a traditional bluegrass venue for up and coming national bluegrass bands and local and regional talent. This Bluegrass festival includes after hours jamming, specialized workshops, genre-specific dancing and more throughout three indoor venues in downtown Durango. For more information on Durango Meltdown, visit www.durangomeltdown.com.
The Boomtown Years
Now, flash back 126 years ago when settlers were flocking to the San Juan Mountains in the hopes of striking it rich in gold, silver, and copper. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad was founded by William Jackson Palmer, and around the railroad, a city was born. Palmer had big plans for Durango. He envisioned a town that would deliver an exceptional “quality of life” in a visually appealing and commerce drawing lay out. Plans consisted of the Main Avenue serving “wholesale” interests and the residential Third Avenue sprawling parallel to Main with a scenic median of planted trees and vegetation.