Snowdown will require proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to attend certain events this year.
“It’s not specific to all events, but there are some events that we are going to require vaccination or testing,” said Chip Lile, president of Snowdown’s board of directors.
Specifically, events at the La Plata County Fairgrounds and the Durango Arts Center will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Some of the larger events happening at the fairgrounds include the Fashion Do’s and Don’ts, Chili Cook-off, Bloody Mary Contest, and La Plata County Search and Rescue’s Pancake Breakfast. The Durango Arts Center will host the Snowdown Follies.
“It’s more for events that are at public places, things that are at bars or restaurants we are recommending that people follow federal, state and local guidelines.” Lile said. “We hope that everyone will follow the protocols that are out there in the community now out of common sense and courtesy to those around you.”
San Juan Basin Public Health said it is supportive of the Snowdown board taking the precautions, as La Plata County is experiencing high levels of transmission of COVID-19.
“We support what Snowdown is doing with their vaccine or test requirement as a way to limit transmission in those large venues,” said SJBPH spokesman Chandler Griffin. “What they’re doing is wise for those venues, considering the transmission rates we have in the community.”
Griffin said there is a federal mask requirement for all forms of public transportation, and locally there is a public health advisory that encourages all residents to wear masks in businesses and public indoor spaces.
“We strongly advise people to get vaccinated, get their booster and test if exposed,” he said.
Ahead of the events that require proof of vaccination, festival-goers can head to 965 Main Ave., where a temporary Snowdown store will offer wristbands to people who show proof of vaccination to make going to events easier.
Snowdown is making its return after being canceled last year because of COVID-19.
Lile said the Snowdown board is taking COVID-19 precautions seriously in order to have a safe and fun festival.
Snowdown organizers are working hard to put the festival together, he said, but they are keeping a close eye on COVID-19 trends in case changes need to be made to optimize safety.
“If anything changes between now and when the event happens, we’ll have to adhere to whatever the state and local authorities are telling us,” Lile said. “Some of this is not up to us.”
In the past, Snowdown has brought as many as 12,000 people to Main Avenue to enjoy the festivities.
“My experience downtown right now is that people are anxious to get out and have fun, and luckily our county seems to have a really high vaccination rate,” he said. “So we’re comfortable with that.”