Every year in July, Durango Fiesta Days are held downtown and on the fairgrounds. This vibrant festival includes a rodeo, parade, and much more. It’s a great event for the whole family and one of the biggest festivals to look forward to in the summer calendar in the beautiful town of Durango.
Fiesta Days Events
The festivities include a pancake breakfast, a chuck wagon cook-off, barrel races and street dances. It also includes the annual parade, which is a wonderful showcase of local culture. Many different people participate in the procession as it rolls down Main Avenue, with plenty of music alongside cheering and dancing. If you are interested in attending this year, you can buy your tickets at Kelly’s Cowboy Company, Basin CO-OP, and the Boot Barn in Durango Mall. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them in advance or have them waiting for you at the gate.
This exciting summer party has been part of Durango’s culture for many decades – but how did it originate? Let’s take a look at the story behind how Durango Fiesta Days, a festival that dates back many years, officially came about.
How Did Fiesta Days Originate?
Fiesta Days were established in 1935, to celebrate the Cowboy, Spanish, and Native American heritage of the Durango, Colorado area. This community gathering brings together the diverse cultures of the area to look to the past and enjoy Durango’s heritage. When Fiesta Days was first born it was called Spanish Trails Fiesta. At the first festival the “Queen” rode down the main street of Durango wearing a Spanish Mantilla. Native tribes came from all around the four corners and camped for several weeks.
The festival was renamed Navajo Trails Fiesta in 1966 and the name was changed to Durango Fiesta Days in 1986. No matter the name, the festival has always been popular and well attended and it is something that everyone in the town looks forward to each year.
Take Part In The Fun
If you're looking for things to do in Durango this summer, don’t miss the opportunity to take part in Durango Fiesta Days. This festival will bring the entire town together as well as welcoming visitors from all over. Come and join in with this Old West Festival in Durango, where the cowboy heritage of the area thrives every summer.
The snow has melted, temperatures are rising and it's time to start planning your summer vacation to Durango. Summer in Durango is the perfect season to enjoy outdoor activities, exciting events and a wide variety of other things to do. Take advantage of the sun and warm weather to see a new side of Durango this year.
Raft the Animas
As early as May, visitors can partake in rafting with several local outfitters. Rafting is a great way to get an adrenaline rush while staying cool in the summer heat. You can even pair your rafting adventure with a train ride, guided 4x4 Tour or zip line excursion. Rafting packages help to create the ultimate day exploring Durango.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Beat the heat and get out on one of the many lakes near Durango with stand up paddle boarding. You'll get some exercise, test your balance and paddle your way along some of the most scenic areas in the region. Popular spots to paddle board in Durango include the Animas River, Lake Nighthorseand Vallecito Lake.
Durango Farmers Market
Durango Farmers Market is on a regular schedule during the summer, taking place every Saturday morning. Visitors can get fresh local produce once a week, enjoy live music and performances and enjoy the beautiful, warm weather. Historic Downtown Durango is full of history and culture and you’re sure to have a great time exploring downtown on your next summer trip to Durango.
True West Rodeo
On Wednesdays during summer in Durango, the True West Rodeo takes over the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Come out to watch a variety of events including bull riding, saddle broncs, ranch broncs, bareback, novice bull riding, breakaway, barrel racing and team racing. The kids can even get involved in the fun. Participants under age 7 can sign up for Mutton Busting and those 13 and under can try their hands at Steer Riding.
Rochester Hotel Summer Concert Series
Every year the Rochester Hotel hosts its Secret Garden Concert series to raise money for nonprofit organizations in the Durango area. The series typically kicks off in late June. Musical performances by a variety of artists and groups will fill the area, and a bar and food vendors will be present at each event.
4th of July
Celebrate America's birthday with the best activities and events in the region. The 4th of July in Durango hosts a variety of family-friendly festivities including a river parade, musical performances in Buckley Park, an American Gourmet Breakfast at Rotary Park, a parade and more. There is plenty to do and with warm summer weather, you are guaranteed a memorable 4th.
Music in the Mountains
Every July, Music in the Mountains brings a celebration of classical music to Southwest Colorado. At different venues across the region, visitors can witness world-class musical performances and experience other exciting events in between. Some annual favorites include chocolate indulgence, a pairing of chocolate desserts, cocktails, beer and wine prior to an evening of music and a Dinner & Family Concert perfect for all ages.
San Juan Brewfest
The San Juan Brewfest is the largest beer tasting festival in the region. Each August, it brings over 41 breweries with over 100 beers to Buckley Park. Paired with live musical entertainment, VIP experiences and food on-site, it is one of the best events of the summer for visitors to partake in. Tickets typically sell out, so you'll want to plan ahead and grab yours well in advance.
In addition to the True West Rodeo, another rodeo experience comes to Durango in July. Durango Fiesta days is a summer party that has been a part of Durango for decades. This community gathering brings together the diverse cultures of the area to look to the past and enjoy Durango’s heritage. Events include team roping, open barrel racing, cowboy church and more.
Summer in Durango is a great time to experience some of the areas best outdoor activities, events and festivals. Plan in some of these top Durango activities on your next trip.
Enjoy a full day of fun on the 4th of July in Durango, Colorado! There are several events throughout the day to choose from or you can fill up your whole day with a fourth of July celebration. The family-friendly activities and the entertaining atmosphere is something you don’t want to miss! Come out and enjoy these events on Wednesday, July 4, 2019.
4th of July in Durango River Parade
Join Mild to Wild for the 4th of July River Parade that flows through the heart of Durango on the Lower Animas River. Be sure to dress up in 4th of July attire! Best costume wins a prize. Seats are limited. Kids get a 4th of July souvenir! 5 trip times are available.
Buckley Park Events
Buckley Park is a great destination for a family-friendly day of fun to celebrate July 4th. Visit the park for an Independence Day Party presented by Building Homes for Heroes from 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The event will feature barbecue, beer, kids activities and live entertainment by the Devin Scott Ukulele Band and Pete Giuliani.
Rotary Park Events
There will be an American Gourmet Breakfast presented by Rotary Club of Durango from 7:30 – 11:30 am with pancakes, eggs, OJ, coffee and more. Breakfast is free for children under 4, $5-10 for children and adults. Other events in Rotary Park include the Freedom 5K and a free Southwest Civic Winds concert with American Voices: What It Means To Be An American presented by FLC in between sets.
Downtown Durango Events
It wouldn’t be July 4th without a parade down Main Ave. Grab your friends and family and stop by downtown Durango for the Stars & Stripes Parade from 6:00 pm to 6:45 pm. Immediately after the parade will be the street dance, presented by KSUT & the City of Durango, through 9:30 pm. The event will include a beer garden, live entertainment from the Hi-Rollers, and more.
Looking for the best Halloween events in Durango? The spooky season has come around and it’s time to carve a pumpkin for your doorstep and hang some fake cobwebs in your window. Halloween is a fun time of year, as it is a chance to get dressed up and play make believe that you are a scary skeleton, a gruesome vampire or a rotting zombie. Scare your friends, collect lots of candy, watch spooky movies and celebrate this creepy and playful holiday.
Rocky Horror Show
Seeing this outrageous horror musical in the theatre is a classic Halloween tradition, so strap on your corset, dust on some glitter and get ready to sing, shout, dance and throw toast at the screen. Buy your tickets early as this event always sells out. Visit the Henry Strater Theatre's website for tickets.
Children's Halloween Trick-or-Treat
The annual Children’s Halloween Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Durango provides a safe trick-or-treat opportunity for children 10 and younger. All merchants are encouraged to distribute candy to the costumed little ghosts and goblins who (with an adult/parent) visit their stores between 4 and 6 p.m. on Halloween.
The Great Pumpkin Patch Express
Hop aboard PEANUTS The Great Pumpkin Patch Express during the month of October and head to the Pumpkin Patch, where children will enjoy trick-or-treating, a reading of "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," a costume contest, photos with Snoopy & Charlie Brown, and more. Adults can enjoy wine & beer tasting and various treats from Fuzziwig's Candy Factory will be sold as well. There will be prizes for best costumes- so come in spirit.
Festival De Los Muertos
The Durango Arts Center will host the 2nd Annual Festival De Los Muertos on November 1st, affirming and celebrating the Latin American holiday Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. Visit the Durango Arts Center for an evening fiesta with artists, performances, food vendors and family friendly activities and the opening of the Day of the Dead altars. Following the festival, the altars will remain on display unitl November 15th.
These are just our top picks for the best Halloween events in Durango, but there are plenty more great activities to look forward to. Follow us on Facebook for more updates.
The mountains are alive with the sound of music this summer when this classical festival comes to Durango from July 6th through July 28th, 2019. For the last three decades, the Music in the Mountains Festival has brought the sounds of classical music to the scenic town of Durango, Colorado. This exciting musical event features a number of high caliber performances, including orchestra, chamber and conservatory performances of classical and world music.
History of the Festival
The Music in the Mountains Festival was originally founded in 1987 by conductor Mischa Semanitzky. It was created with the support of The Durango Herald, Fort Lewis College, the Bank of Colorado, Morley Ballantine and Durango Mountain Resort. In 2008 the principal horn player for the Dallas Symphony, Gregory Hustis, became the new Artistic Director – succeeding Semanitzky. Members of the Dallas Symphony were very important in the original formation of the festival and the event maintains a lot of strong ties to the Dallas Music Community.
There are a number of fantastic events to look forward to throughout the festival. Some of the highlights this year include Chocolate Indulgence, where guests will sample artisan desserts while listening to music from Boyd Meets Girl. Also, Charlie Chaplin’s Smile, including performances by Philippe Quint and Marta Aznavoorian, will showcase Chaplin’s most beautiful and well-known music. Don’t forget a visitor favorite, the Dinner & Family Concert, for a family friendly picnic and concert perfect for all ages.
Enjoy views of the Twilight Peaks while indulging in a variety of artisan desserts. Animas Chocolate Company and the Ore House restaurant will create numerous “duets” that pair handcrafted chocolate desserts with a specialty cocktail, beer, or wine as a prelude to a magical musical evening.
Tips for Visiting the Festival
If you are planning on taking part in the festival this year, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Many performances are held within a tent which can be cool in the evenings, so bring along a coat or a sweater.
- Comfortable shoes are recommended, as walking to the festival tent requires walking up a set of stairs and down a paved footpath.
- Tickets for the concerts can be purchased online up until noon on the day of the concert.
- It is also possible to purchase a “Grass Pass” so that you can sit outside on the grass and listen. The musicians on stage will not be visible, but the tickets are only $5 so it is a nice way to enjoy the music on a budget while admiring the sights of the San Juan Mountains.
- It’s a good idea to plan for lodging nearby the event. Silverpick Lodge is a good choice for a conveniently located mountain spot close to the festival activities. You should also check out our campgrounds page if you’re looking to do something a little different.
This October cowboy poets from all across the USA will gather in Durango for the annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This literary event takes place from October 3rd through 7th and celebrates poems and songs that capture the spirit of the American West and the people who live and work there. The gathering takes place in the Strater Hotel, where many free performances of cowboy poetry and music are held. Events are also at the DSNGRR, the Durango Arts Center, Rapp Corral and in many local galleries throughout the city.
Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering
The festival includes several events that take place all across the city. Many of the daytime performances are free and tickets for the other shows and music range from $15 to $40 depending on the performer. Poets and musicians will perform spoken word poems and songs that will make you laugh, cry and appreciate the traditions of the cowboy lifestyle. If you love poetry and the Wild West lifestyle, come to Durango this October and let yourself be charmed by the romantic, nostalgic, sweet and funny poems of some of the best cowboy poets in the country.
What Is Cowboy Poetry?
When the cowboys and ranchers of the old west would sit down around the campfire at the end of a hard day’s work, they would entertain each other with folk songs and tall tales. These stories would usually be in poetic form, as this would help them to be more easily remembered and passed along by cowboys who might not know how to read or write.
About The Event
These poems would be stories about life on the ranch, descriptions of the landscape of the west, & humorous tales and memories of times gone by. Some of the most famous cowboy poets include S. Omar Barker, Curley Fletcher, Bruce Kiskaddon, Joel Nelson and Wally McRae.
The Cowboy Poet Train
One of the most exciting events in this annual gathering is the Durango Cowboy Poetry Train. On this special journey to Cascade Canyon you can enjoy entertainment from cowboy poets and musicians while you glide through the beautiful and rugged autumn countryside. The train makes a stop along the scenic banks of the Animas River where you can relax and enjoy your lunch. Be sure to book early, as seats will fill up fast!
The Motorless Cowboy Parade
One of the highlights of the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering is the motorless cowboy parade on Main Street. The parade doesn’t involve any vehicles – everything is horse drawn. The colourful event includes historic wagons, Mediterranean donkeys, Native American Dancers, coaches and carriages, the Color Guard, the US Forest Service Pack Mule Team and many locals dressed in period costumes.
Prizes are given for the most impressive parade entries, including Best Horse Entry and Best Mule or Donkey Entry. Anyone is welcome to enter the parade, so why not get dressed up and join in the fun?
The year of 2018 is coming to a close and it’s time to celebrate ringing in a brand new 365 days with the best New Year's Eve celebrations
in Durango! Plan your New Years in Durango, CO around these great events.
New Years At Purgatory
is the place to be on New Year's Eve. Enjoy a special NYE buffet style dinner at Hoody’s, or a snowcat dinner at Powderhouse before coming out for a spectacular torchlight parade down the mountain. Then, watch an amazing fireworks display to kick off your New Year’s Eve. Celebrate all night long with live music from People We Know at Purgy's.
New Year's Eve Prohibition Style
This celebration is sure to be the bees knees! Join the fun on the last day of 2018 at Derailed Pour House
at 5:00 pm. There will be entertainment from Black Velvet Band, champagne, balloon drop, toasts, goody bags, keepsake glasses and more. Seating is limited so buy your tickets as soon as possible.
Red, White & Buckin' Blue NYE
You're invited to Wild Horse Saloon
for a rowdy New Year's Eve party! Just $10 for those over 21 years of age and $20 for those 18-20, the cover includes party favors, a champagne toast, and finger foods throughout the evening. Door prizes will be given away all night long. You can make a table reservation by purchasing a chair from venue's website.
The Animas City Theatre is hosting a "Throwback Party" featuring live music from Elder Grown, J Calvin & Mesquite this New Year's Eve. This 21+ party starts at 9, with music throughout the night and a midnight champagne toast to ring in the new year. Tickets are available online or at the theatre and are $25 per person.
Lace up your trail runners and get your mountain bike ready, because the Durango Double is just around the corner: October 13, 2018. Put together by Ska Brewing, the Durango Double consists of a 10.8-mile run and a 17-mile mountain bike ride held back to back. The Durango Double isn’t just challenging fun. It’s for a good cause, too. The Durango Double supports The Women’s Resource Center, Trails 2000, and Durango DEVO.
Durango Double Events
Runners and riders can participate a handful of events at the Durango Double. These include the Durango Double itself, both the 10.8-mile run and 17-mile mountain bike ride held back to back. Participate solo or make it a team event with a partner. The Horse Gulch Hustle 10.8-mile run is the first leg of the Durango Double, but can be a stand alone run if biking isn’t your thing. There’s also the Kid’s Mini Double – a pint-sized run and ride for your little ones to show their mettle on trail.
Along The Animas
The Durango Double trail will take you along Durango’s beautiful Animas River. The race starts and finishes at Animas Surgical Hospital, just south of Downtown Durango. Parking is available at Animas Surgical Center and nearby at Cundiff Park. Participants can pick up their packets the evening before the race at Durango Running Company. The Horse Gulch Hustle starts at 8:45 a.m. The course will remain open until all participants finish. The Durango Double mountain bike ride will start from 10-11:30 a.m., as runners complete the course.
At the finish line, you’ll be greeted by the sweet sounds of StillHouse Junkies, one of Durango’s favorite bands. Known for their mix of blues, funk, swing, and bluegrass music, StillHouse Junkies promise to set the scene for a great finish line party. You’ll also find local flavor with food and drink from some of Durango’s favorite vendors: Ska beer, Zia Taqueria burritos, Serious Delights Bakery and more. The party will continue with awards and giveaways from Durango Running Company, Mountain Bike Specialists, Solomon and Durango Train.
The running out of Durango has to be the best anywhere. I’ve lived here 10 years, and I’m still discovering new trails.Runners World
A Runner’s Paradise
Durango, Colorado, where the sun shines over 300 days of the year, offers runners miles of scenic trails to enjoy. It has some of the best running in the nation. Run along the Animas River, high above downtown Durango or thru canyons and up steep mountains that ascend over 14,000 feet in elevation. The Durango Double offers heart pumping fun to trail runners and mountain bikers. Make the most of Durango’s beautiful fall weather and turn the event into a full weekend of fun.