Durango’s version of Groundhog Day pits winter vs. summer sports enthusiasts in tug-of-war
DURANGO, Colo. – In an attempt to forecast whether spring is on the way or if Durango is in for six more weeks of winter, the Durango Business Improvement District (BID) will host the 2nd Annual Tug-of-Weather (Durango’s version of Groundhog Day) on Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012.
The “battle of the seasons” will pit winter sports enthusiasts (i.e. ski bums) against the boys (and girls) of summer (i.e. river rats) in an official “tug-of-war.” Staging area is in Downtown Durango on E. Second Ave. in front of Steamworks Brewing Co. (801 E. Second Ave.). Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m.
“For centuries, communities throughout the world have organized annual events to ostensibly determine if there will be an extended winter or an early spring,” explained Bob Kunkel, BID executive director. “Across the U.S., there’s Groundhog Day, but encouraging a local ground squirrel to emerge and check for his shadow didn’t quite fit with the Durango mentality. So, in Durango we have the Tug-of-Weather – an athletic event held in good fun.”
In Durango, at the beginning of March spring could be right around the corner, or the community could easily experience six more weeks of winter. At the inaugural “Tug” event in 2011, the Winter team, organized by Durango Mountain Resort (Durango’s local ski mountain), won two out of the three “pulls” against the Summer team, and celebrated the forecast of more snow.
“After the 2011 Tug, we did indeed have six more weeks of winter, so the Tug-of-Weather proved accurate,” said Pam Glasco, BID community relations coordinator. “We’ll see how it goes this year, and if it proves accurate again, we just may have a reliable weather prognosticator for all the Rocky Mountain ski resorts.”
For 2012, Durango Mountain Resort will once again represent Winter, and Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours will take the lead for Summer, each assembling teams of 12 (six men and six women) to represent the appropriate season and pull on the 100-ft. rope for the best of two to three tugs for the win. Winter will square off with Summer at 5:30 p.m.
Beginning at 4:30 p.m., prior to the “official” tug, community teams of six each are invited to compete in 50-ft. rope pulls – all in good fun. Youth teams (age 15 and older) are also invited to join in. Participation is free, and teams are encouraged to sign up in advance at 970.375.5067 or email email@example.com.
As no Durango festivity is complete without beer, the 2012 Tug-of-Weather will feature Steamworks brews for spectators. (Durango cherishes its reputation as “the Napa Valley of craft beer” and is said to produce more craft beer per capita than any community in Colorado.)
“The event is great fun and we want to encourage everyone to come out and either say adios to the winter doldrums or celebrate shushing through the snow for a few more weeks to come,” said Kunkel. “One thing Durango does best is rally together in celebration. This is one more reason to do so.”
To learn more about the Durango Tug-of-Weather, visit www.downtowndurango.org or call 970.375.5067.
The Durango Business Improvement District was formed in 1997 with a goal and mission to support businesses within the District by assisting with special event marketing, providing research on topics of concern to the District (facilities, special events, best practices), planning and development of new facilities, and providing capital budget for equipment that enhances business in the District. Funding is generated by a 2 mill levy on property owners within the district, with additional marketing dollars contributed by the City of Durango and Durango Area Tourism Office.