Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your corsets, capes, ruffs and big boofy skirts.
The 44th annual Snowdown is kicking off today (Jan. 27), and a big part of the fun is dressing to the theme, which this year is A Shakespearean Snowdown. And if you’re stumped for something to wear for the next week or so, plenty of places in Durango can help you round out your costume.
One place in particular – Create Art & Tea at 1015 Main Ave. – can outfit you with a variety of garments that would do the Bard proud. Owner Caprice Fox said she has had costumes available for the last couple of weeks and they’re going fast; she’s already sold more than 30 pieces so far.
The costume supply comes courtesy of Leslie Jackson from Cedar Hill, New Mexico, who owns an antique shop. She’s also a member of the Victorian Ladies group in Durango and is a longtime Snowdown enthusiast.
“I’ve been collecting for many years,” Jackson said. “It’s selling like crazy; I’m really happy.”
Fox said a casual conversation with Jackson led to her inventory of costumes.
“She is just loaded with all kinds of antiques. We got together ... and said, ‘Let’s do Snowdown.’ It was kind of a spontaneous thing, and it’s perfect.”
Along with big dresses and shirt, vests and coast, Create also has accessories such as hats, belts and even a shield, corsets and – for the more adventurous when it comes to the needle arts – patterns to make one’s own costume.
And for Fox, her favorite costume in the shop is the purple number in the window that she hopes no one buys.
(And for those worried the shop will run out of costumes, fear not, for Jackson was due to drop off more Thursday.)
For Jackson, Snowdown is a way to relieve cabin fever, to get out an meet up with friends.
“I’ve been around for 20-some years. I love Snowdown,” she said. “Snowdown is a great time to get together and socialize and there’s a lot of fun things to do. We really love going to the parade, go out to eat, it’s kind of an annual thing.”
Fox added that along with being fun, Snowdown also offers an important economic component.
“It’s in the middle of winter, and it’s when the economy is tanking and all the shop owners are going, ‘It’s so slow,’” she said. “And it gives us a real excitement, you know? I’ve had so many people come in here like, ‘You have Snowdown costumes?’ They’re so psyched, and they’re so into it.”