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Wet and wild steampunk

Did somebody say “slushdown”?

Umbrellas were a popular steampunk accoutrement on one of the wettest Snowdown Fridays in recent memory.

But the weather certainly didn’t dampen people’s spirits. Mostly, it just made things more interesting.

Steam from floats, rain from sky

A little bit of snow mixed with rain, or sleet, or whatever you want to call it, didn’t stop the Snowdown Light Parade from being the big draw that it annually is on Snowdown Friday along Main Avenue.

Thousands packed Durango’s main drag from Fifth to 12th streets. Things blowing fire and smoke were again the favorites in this wintertime event, which brought residents two-deep against the barriers along the route.

This year, things with lots of gears and metal were the norm. Some serious welding obviously happened in the Durango area during the last month.

Mark Thompson of Phoenix Recycling said more than 100 hours went into his steampunk-themed float with flames shooting out of pipes and a brand new metalwork logo.

The city limits the field to 60 floats, and parade coordinator Chip Lile said he had 59 entrants late Friday afternoon.

There are no official attendance numbers, Lile said, but police ask organizers to be ready for 10,000 people along the parade route.

– John Peel

Chugoff earns Ore House title

A beer-balloon to the face. India Downing took one for the team Thursday at the soggy Snowdown Waiter-Waitress Race in the alley behind Steamworks.

It was the result of a throw from a teammate who just had to hit somewhere on her body.

“We did not know that was part of it till we got here,” Downing said as teammates cleaned her face and fixed her makeup. “Whatever it takes.”

Downing and her Carver Brewing Co. teammates had the fastest time among six teams, but they lost the chugoff to the Ore House and claimed second place.

The relatively low turnout was assumed to be because of weather.

“The weather was an unexpected turn,” said Carver’s Julia Caughey.

Third place went to the home team, prompting emcee and Steamworks manager Sean Moriarty to (hopefully) joke to the crowd, “Third place goes to Steamworks. You’re all fired.”

John Peel

Bobbing for Spam at the Bed Rally Race

Five minutes after the event, even following a face-washing, Shawn Haught was picking flour off his face and out of his teeth.

He was part of Team Bedwetter, a group from Ken & Sue’s restaurant participating in the Snowdown Bed Rally Race on Thursday afternoon in the alley behind Steamworks Brewing Co.

After bobbing for Spam in a bucket of water and bobbing for marshmallows in flour, his face was predictably caked white.

Teammates Wilson Lawrence and Ashton Mieritz volunteered their friend to do it, and Haught took the challenge.

“The flour’s still stuck to my teeth,” he said.

The Bed Rally has been absent from the recent Snowdown lineup, but Fort Lewis College took it on as a project this year. Lorraine Taylor, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality, gave her “event management” class an assignment two weeks ago: Organize and coordinate the rally.

Unable to find the beds used in the past, the students found dorm-room beds that weren’t being used, and Albertsons donated shopping carts. The students then mounted the beds on the cart wheels.

John Peel

Steamy swimsuits heat up Rochester

With snow falling on the patio of the Rochester Hotel, The Ultra Sexy Steam Swimdown got off to a slow start.

Friday’s chilly, wet weather wasn’t ideal for a swimsuit contest, but in the end, a lineup of five participants – two women and three men – braved the elements to strut their stuff in front of a sizable crowd.

Event organizer Ashley Sheppard said she wasn’t surprised more men than women participated.

“It’s Durango,” she said.

First place for women went to Mariah Suneson, who with her friend Kala Hunter decided Friday morning to “get some swimsuits and dress up.” Hunter, of course, took second place.

Suneson said it feels great to win.

“The odds were in our favor,” she said.

Sheppard planned to award first and second place for men and women, but a tutu earned the third-place man an honorable mention.

Mark Hayden

2015 Steampunk Snowdown Schedule

For more information, visit www.snowdown.org.

All week

Snowdown Theme contest, through noon Sunday, Magpies Newsstand Cafe, 707 Main Ave., 382-0518.

Bear Down for Snowdown, donate a stuffed bear and earn a chance to win a $50 gas gift certificate, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Durango Harley Davidison, 750 South Camino del Rio, 259-0778.

Saturday

Snowdown Shootout 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, all day, Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., 375-3717, 375-7305.

Snowdown Balloon Rally & Mass Ascension, 8 a.m., U.S. Highway 550, north side of Hermosa Meadows Road, 375-4629, 884-6191, (505) 947-1242.

Bubble Blasters, 9 a.m.-noon, Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., 385-8518.

Snow Games, 10 a.m., Santa Rita Park, 149 South Camino del Rio, 247-3986, 247-2446.

Snowdown Broomball Tournament, 10 a.m., Chapman Hill Ice Rink, 500 Florida Road, 375-7395.

Snowdown Preschool Dance Party, 10 a.m.-noon, Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave., 375-3385, 375-3784.

Doggie Olympics, 10 a.m.-noon, Creature Comforts, 305 South Camino del Rio in the Centennial Center, 247-2748, 247-5350.

I Think Therefore I Spam, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Durango Welcome Center, 802 Main Ave., 247-7207, 828-1039.

Snowdown 9-Ball Tournament, 11 a.m., Pongas, 121 W. Eighth St., 769-0059, 382-8554.

Strongman & Strongwoman Competition, 11 a.m., CrossFit Durango, 360 South Camino del Rio, 769-6903, 769-5076.

Outlaw Josie Pete’s Golf Tournament, noon, Main Mall Commons, 835 Main Ave., 247-0100, 385-9463.

Snowdown Chili Cook-Off, noon, La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 2500 Main Ave., 382-0788.

Snowdown Bloody Mary Contest, noon-2 p.m., La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 2500 Main Ave., 382-0788.

Book Games, noon, Maria’s Bookshop, 960 Main Ave., 247-1438.

Steampunk Wipeout, 12:30-3:30 p.m., Buckley Park, Main Avenue and east 12th St., 759-7644, 259-1247.

10th annual Snowdown Belt Sander Drag Races, 1 p.m., Kroegers Ace Hardware, 8 Town Plaza, 759-5480, 749-9368.

Outhouse Stuffing, 1 p.m., Gazpacho’s New Mexican Restaurant, 431 East Second Ave., 749-3331, 769-3332.

Feline Fashion Show, 1 p.m., McDonald’s parking lot, 201 W. College Drive, 247-3986, 247-2446.

Steampunk Spoons, 1-4 p.m., Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., 385-8518.

Bucket Blasters, 1-4 p.m., Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., 385-8518.

Canine Fashion Show, 2 p.m., McDonald’s parking lot, 201 W. College Drive, 247-3986, 247-2446.

Hula Hoop Contest, 2 p.m., Gazpachos’s New Mexican Restaurant, 431 East Second Ave., 749-3331, 769-3332.

Snowdown Bristlebot Races, 2-4 p.m., Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave., 375-3385, 375-3384.

Gears and Goggles Jeopardy, 3 p.m., La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., 403-7859, 259-0600.

Outlaw Josie Pete’s Golf Tourney Awards, 4 p.m., The Lost Dog Bar & Lounge, 1150 Main Ave.

Broomball Awards, 5 p.m., Chapman Hill Ice Rink, 500 Florida Road.

Search for “The Silver Bullet” Award Ceremony, 5 p.m., Durango Elks Lodge, 901 East Second Ave.

Nintendo 64 Mario Kart, 6 p.m., Moe’s Lounge, 937 Main Ave., 749-7231.

Snowdown Fireworks, 6 p.m., in the skies above Durango.

Wahsers, 6 p.m., BREW Pub & Kitchen, 117 W. College Drive.

Steampunk Soiree, 6 p.m., Sorrel Sky Gallery, 828 Main Ave., 247-3555.

20th annual Lady F’s Lunacy, 7 p.m., Lady Falconburgh’s Barley Exchange, 640 Main Ave.

Snowdown Follies, 7:30 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre and Durango Arts Center Theatre.

Snowdown Follies Videocast, 7:30 p.m., Animas City Theatre, 128 E. College Drive.

DJ & MC Battle, 7:30 p.m., Moe’s Lounge, 937 Main Ave., 749-7231.

Sixth annual Costume Gala, 8 p.m., Derailed Pour House, 725 Main Ave., 749-4748, 247-5440.

Karaoke Contest, 8-10 p.m., 8th Ave. Tavern, 509 East Eighth Ave., 903-7810.

Snowdown Beer Trivia, 8 p.m., Carver Brewing Co., 1022 Main Ave., 946-2459, 259-2545.

The Guinness Games – Yahtzee!, 8 p.m., The Irish Embassy Pub, 900 Main Ave., 946-7660, (720) 935-9246.

Pickup Line Contest, 8:30 p.m., Lost Dog Bar & Lounge, 1150 Main Ave., 799-1681.

Snowdown Follies, 10 p.m., Henry Strater Theatre and Durango Arts Center Theatre.

Snowdown Follies Videocast, 10 p.m., Animas City Theatre, 128 E. College Drive.

Pull-Up Contest, 10 p.m., Pongas, 121 W. Eighth St., 769-0059, 382-8554.

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