Last October, with the enthusiastic encouragement of several friends who love to dress in period attire, my husband and I made the 6-hour trek from Prescott, Arizona to the lovely old western town of Durango, Colorado for the third annual Durango Heritage Celebration. We stayed at the beautifully restored Strater Hotel, and immersed ourselves in another century for three entire days. I must admit that the full impact of what the event had in store didn’t hit me until the first morning after our arrival. I dressed in full Victorian attire, complete with my most outrageous hat, and went downstairs to the Durango Emporium. As I stepped through the doorway to the Emporium, what I saw literally stopped me in my tracks. There was before me an entire room full of people dressed in 1800’s attire – all talking quietly as they browsed through tables-full of items like hats, parasols, gloves and the like. Truly, I felt as though I had stepped back in time. There was not one person who seemed out of place in this roomful of lovely ladies and elegant gents. This first impression stayed with me for our entire visit. We attended an informative session on hat-making, enjoyed a special ride on the Durango and Silverton railroad – where nearly 200 Victorian-clad participants took over the entire station in the early morning to the delight of tourists and locals, and attended a Grand Ball dressed in our finest gowns and tails. We have just made reservations to attend again this year, and I am so excited (now that I have an idea of what will be in store) that I wanted to share this event with you, my Recollections friends.
Suzanne Parker, who is the Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Durango Heritage Celebration, has agreed to let me interview her. She will share with me some insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of the Celebration. I will be reporting on this event as it takes shape, and share what happens when we attend. For example, this year the formal dinner will be a re-enactment of a first-class dinner on board the Titanic. Each attendee will receive by mail a ticket in the name of one of the actual Titanic 1st class passengers. We are being encouraged to research the person we will portray beforehand. Upon arriving for dinner, each of us will receive a copy of an original Titanic boarding pass corresponding to the name of the traveller on our ticket, with a short biography of that person. We are encouraged to portray that individual during the dinner. How fun will that be??!!