Celebrate Over 100 Years of Winter Tradition in Steamboat Springs
Beginning as the organizing committee for the first Winter Carnival, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) has maintained the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival as a service to the community since 1914, making it the oldest, continuous winter carnival west of the Mississippi.
Winter Carnival started as a way to help residents cope with cabin fever during the height of the Colorado winter season. The event continues to this day as a way to celebrate winter; as a reason for neighbors to gather; and as an opportunity for everyone to experience a piece of Ski Town USA® history and tradition.
About the Winter Carnival
This annual celebration includes a variety of events that embrace Steamboat's western heritage and highlight our tradition of winter sports. This includes everything from the Street Events where kids are pulled on skis behind horses down main street, to the Lighted Man at the Night Show Extravaganva who's battery-powdered suit weighs 70 pounds.
See below for awards and highlights for this unique signature event, or check out a few interesting facts and history dating back to the first years of the carnival.
Winter Carnival Schedule
The Winter Carnival kicks off with the traditional Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday night featuring the Winter Carnival King and Queen. Thursday and Friday events include ski jumping, dual slalom bicycle racing, a snowboarding jam session, and tubing party among other things.
Saturday and Sunday highlight the event with the Winter Carnival Street Events and the Night Show Extravaganza. The Street Events feature local Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club kids being pulled on skis behind horses right down main street in downtown Steamboat. A crowd favorite, the "Donkey Jump", sends kids soaring off a jump for up to 40, or even 50 feet.
The Street Events also feature the shovel race for the 18 and up crowd. Jump on your shovel and hold on tight as you are pulled down the street for the fastest time.
The Street Events wrap up Sunday with the Diamond Hitch Parade featuring the Steamboat Springs High School band on skis.
The Night Show Extravaganza is an event full of torchlight parades, ski jumping through a fiery hoop, and the famous Lighted Man. It wraps up with a spectacular fireworks show at Howelsen Hill.
See below for more details on the street events and full event schedule for Winter Carnival.
Inside the Winter Carnival
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is the oldest ski club west of the Mississippi and has produced 79 Winter Olympians to date. Its youth, grow up competing in the Street Events, making it a true honor to take home a ribbon and bragging rights for the next year. Most of us can't say we've been pulled behind a horse down main street, but Penn Lukens (2011 NorAm halfpipe Champion) gives us a taste of his experience growing up competing in these popular events.
The History and Tradition of the Steamboat Winter Carnival
An interview with Leif Howelsen, son of Carl Howelsen (founder of the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival), shows us the tradition of the Steamboat Winter Carnival and what Ski Town USA® is all about.
Winter Carnival Forms and Registration
Registration for the Street Events for 2014 will open Friday, January 31st. More Information on Registration for Street Events