Crazy cowboys go blasting down Steamboat's Lincoln Avenue each February, pulling a kid on skis at breakneck speed. It's all part of Winter Carnival, coming up Feb. 2-6.
It's the 98th year for Steamboat to celebrate the long winter blues by throwing a big party, on and off the slopes. The multi-day event is complete with opening ceremonies with celebrities, a carnival queen, and a dozen Little Princesses. Races are held throughout the event, including a Cross-Country Obstacle race, Telemark Dual Challenge, Bumps and Jumps, a Dual Slalom Bike Race on snow, and jumping off of Howelsen Hill's famous Nordic jumps.
Most of the events are in town, down Steamboat's main drag, and at historic Howelsen Hill. The street events are a highlight Saturday and Sunday. Thousands of curious onlookers line Lincoln Ave. downtown to see the local ranchers hauling local kids on a rope through the snow. The kids are on skis or a snowboard, and they can do the street slalom, ski joring with a spear, the donkey jump, or the famous adult shovel race. The horse events are for kids ages 6-14 and you must pre-register with the Chamber, beginning Feb. 1.
Saturday is the Night Extravaganza at Howelsen Hill where all of the Steamboat kids in the local winter sports club perform in different torchlight formations. Ski Patrol pulls a toboggan through a fiery hoop. The famous Lighted Man is covered with hundreds of Christmas lights and he skis down as well. The night is over after the massive fireworks display.
Don't miss the Diamond Hitch Parade Sunday morning at 11:30, once again on Lincoln Ave. A diamond hitch consists of at least four skiers, holding onto points of a rope tied in the shape of diamonds. Animals, people, or vehicles may pull the skiers down the snow-filled streets.
Call 970-879-0880 for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. Or call 970-879-0695 for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.