Winter Carnival comes to Red Lodge Mountain Resort in Montana March 1-2, 2013. That’s a weekend when mayhem descends on the ski area for the all out mass start Cardboard Classic Race.

The two-day Winter Carnival event actually has more going on than the Cardboard Classic. In fact, the theme this year — Hot Dog — has to do with those old ski movies that wrap up a minimal plot in bad hairdos, cheesy fashions, and silly skiing. Expect to see some of these over the weekend: Hot Dog The Movie, Aspen Extreme, Ski School, Ski Patrol, and Out Cold.

Clearly, the weekend highlight is the Cardboard Classic Race. You can get a preview of the crafts in Red Lodge’s True Value Parking Lot for appearance judging and the annual parade on Friday night.

The entries for the race must be constructed of only cardboard, glue, tape, and paint and weigh under a certain amount for different competitive age group categories. The flimsy construction, of course, means that many burst apart during the race.

The Cardboard Classic races start at high noon on Saturday. Here’s a bit of last year’s kids 12 and under Cardboard Classic by Earley Enterprises:



The top two fastest crafts win money. Here’s the unlimited Cardboard Classic 2012 entries vying for first place, by Earley Enterprises:



In addition to movies and the Cardboard Classic, Red Lodge also puts on other events for Winter Carnival. Live music, a costume contest, and a rail jam culminate in a torchlight parade and fireworks on Saturday night.

Skiers and snowboarders coming for the Red Lodge Winter Carnival through Billings can pick up discount lift tickets. They are sold at The Ski Station, Big Bear Sports, or Montana Cycling and Ski. Tickets purchased online through the Red Lodge e-store are discounted 2-16 percent, depending on the duration of advance purchase.

Several ski and stay packages are available at hotels, inns, and bed-and-breakfasts in Red Lodge. Rates start at $58 per person per night based on double occupancy.

Find more details on Red Lodge Mountain: Winter Carnival, ski and stay packages.