Mountain Ute Bear Dance. This traditional dance, the local version of a Sadie Hawkins (in which the women choose their dance partners—and the selected men can't refuse), is held in June on the Tawaoc Ute reservation south of Cortez. The event celebrates spring and the legacy of a mythical bear who taught the Ute people her secrets. It's part of a multiday festival that includes music, races, and softball games, and culminates with an hour-long dance that's over when only one couple remains. 970/565–3751.


Durango Fiesta Days. A parade, rodeo, barbecue, street dance, cook-offs, and more come to the Durango Fairgrounds on the last weekend of July. 970/247–8835.

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A parade and dance accompany art exhibitions, poetry readings, music, and storytelling in this four-day event run by the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, a nonprofit set up to preserve the traditions of the American West. It's held the first weekend in October. 970/749–2995.