What not to do at Snowdown

by Ted Holteen

If you’re reading this in the hopes that you’ll uncover some unknown haven to escape the silliness of the weekend that is Snowdown, stop reading. Wait a second – I’m being told that it’s poor form and kind of stupid for an author to instruct readers not to read – OK, don’t stop reading. However, if you long ago decided that Snowdown just isn’t for you, and believe me, I fully understand if that’s what you decided, you’ll have to either stay home for five days or leave town. No city outside of Detroit will be so dominated by its local events this weekend as our far-from-humble burg will be, and I for one say “go with it.” Snowdown is unique. As many times as I’ve chided, ridiculed and insulted participants throughout the years for their tired costuming and sophomoric behavior, I keep coming back for more and making an even bigger ass of myself than those I disparage.

All of the schedules and information you could ever need to navigate the weekend are available online at www.snowdown.org or in one of the little brochures that can be found in almost every public place in town, and come next week will be given their own little corner in the Bondad landfill. The official propaganda does not, however, include value judgments and/or a rating system, so that’s where I come in. Not to be negative, but I’m going to begin by telling you what you can’t do, either because it’s already happened, it’s sold out, or you’re just not good enough to attend. Like the Follies. It doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says about them, the damn show just goes on year after year. For example, I could tell you that the Follies is just a mouthpiece for the KKK funded by Al Qaeda and includes hundreds of coded right-wing messages from the Heritage Foundation. And you know what? It would still be sold out, like it is, and that includes every showing of the simulcast at the Abbey. Perhaps it’s because the cast reads like a who’s who of the La Plata County Republican Party. The Gong Show? That was on Wednesday. Josie Pete’s Golf Tournament? You missed that entry deadline a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, I didn’t, and I was lucky enough to rent the last stomach pump in town to get me through the day. Other things in which you can’t participate include a bunch of ongoing events that started Wednesday like the Magical Musical Mystery Tour & Lady F’s Lunacy, and some one-time events like the Polar Beer Plunge at Carvers, Broomball and Farquahrt’s Jokedown. Sorry. You also can’t enter a float in Friday’s parade, but you can watch it beginning at 6 p.m.

Here are some ideas for stupid things that you still can do, day by day:


• Hot wing eating contest at Cuckoo’s, 4 p.m. They’re really hot, so keep your macho in check. You’ll see.

• Disco dance contest at the Ball Park Sports Bar in Centennial Plaza, 6:30 p.m.


• The popular & idiotic Waiter/Waitress Race at Steamworks, 2 p.m., followed by the even more idiotic Bed Race at 3 p.m.

• Another disco dance contest happens at The Wild Horse at 9 p.m. I bet the same people show up who were at The Ball Park on Thursday. They should be a treat.


• Get up really early (?) and catch the Balloon Rally at 8 a.m. at Animas Valley Elementary School. If that time sounds absurd, then you might have trouble making the Punk Rock Breakfast at Purgy’s, which goes from 8:30 to 11 a.m. FYI – you will pass the school on your way to the mountain unless you are Elmo or live in Silverton, so technically you could knock out two Snowdown events by noon. Just something to think about.

• Alternate morning fare includes the Hash House Run, which starts at 11 a.m. at the Best Western Mountain Shadows. There’s running involved, which sucks, but on the bright side you should be pretty drunk by about 11:30.

Saturday offers up a full slate throughout the day and night, so take a good look at the schedule to make your best-educated choice. You’ll also be happy to know that

there is another disco night, this time at Steamworks. I wonder if I really will kill someone before the weekend ends.

The final two items I include in the public interest on its largest scale. Durango Harley-Davidson is collecting teddy bears throughout the weekend that will be given to young’uns in need in our area via the good people at Volunteers of America. If doing something good for children isn’t enough, and it usually isn’t, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a pair of Follies tickets for Saturday night. And lastly, if you’re as fed up as I am about people other than me selecting the Snowdown theme year after year, you have until noon on Sunday to make your suggestion for the theme in 2008 (next year’s is already picked. Something to do with pirates.) Just scribble your idea on a napkin at closing time during one of the weekend’s disco nights and get it to Magpie’s by that deadline. Or e-mail your ideas to me, I’ll pick the best and enter it, then I’ll win the free dinner.

That does it for Snowdown, at least as far as I’m concerned, but I must squeeze in one notable non-Snowdown thing. I say “thing” because it involves dance, and we all know how helpful I am when it comes to critiquing dance. This particular dance thing features the Pilobolus Dance Theatre dancing and whatnot at the Concert Hall on Thursday night at 7 p.m. The one thing I know about dancers is that they’re better athletes than I’ll be in six lifetimes, and the Pilobolus troupe is even more athletic and acrobatic than most. Tickets aren’t cheap, but they’ve got to keep the riffraff out somehow so people like me don’t hoot and holler at the girls and giggle when the men do something graceful. Perhaps the best part of this evening will be the notable absence of “Funkytown” in the musical score.

Oh, right – I almost forgot. They’re having a Superbowl this Sunday, too. I seem to recall after Superbowl XVI that they weren’t going to let Detroit host it again, but bribery is a force all its own and Motown is as corrupt as Miami any day. But damn, it’s cold in Detroit in February. I think they put it on TV now, though. My pick: Steelers 24, Seahags 21. We’ll see.

So what do we do next week? egholteen@hotmail.com. Here’s one: Snowdown 2008 – Detox or Bust! •