If you’re thinking about a quick weekend getaway to Durango, you should think about the weekend of Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2. That’s the weekend of the annual Narrow Gauge Days festival, also lovingly known among locals as “Hot Dog Day!”
Narrow Gauge Days is put on by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to celebrate the return of the Durango train’s roundtrip service to Silverton. During the long, snowy winter months, the train only goes to Cascade Canyon, where it turns around and makes it way back to Durango. But when the spring thaw sets in, the train can resume its trip to the mountain mining town of Silverton, where the quaint downtown streets are lined with Victorian-era buildings.
The two-day festival gets started with a free picnic (hence, “Hot Dog Day”) and celebration at the Durango depot in downtown. Get your fill of hot dogs, chips and soda from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and enjoy the tunes of the Bar D Wranglers. Keep your eyes peeled for Snoopy and Buddy, the Tyrannosaurus Rex from PBS’s popular show Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train.
Saturday marks the return of the roundtrip Durango to Silverton train. The first train departs at 8:45 a.m. Narrators wearing period costumes will walk through passenger cars, telling stories and sharing historical tidbits. When the train arrives at the station in Silverton, passengers will be greeted by festivities and townspeople wearing Victorian-era clothing. Nothing says spring has arrived in Durango like the return of the Durango train’s service to Silverton!