What can you do with cardboard, tape, and glue? Quite a bit. Locals at Red Lodge Mountain Resort spend weeks designing entries for the annual Cardboard Classic, a free-for-all cardboard contraption race on snow that leaves contestants and debris strewn down the course.
The Cardboard Classic is a highlight of the annual Red Lodge Winter Carnival that takes place over two days, March 2-3, 2012. With a theme this winter of Wild West, the carnival is heading back to Montana roots. The Cardboard Classic race will no doubt parade a ranch full of cowboy hats, chaps, and guns.
Winter Carnival in Red Lodge brings out the costumes. Expect cowboy hats and spurs for this year's Wild West theme. Courtesy of Red Lodge Mountain Resort.
The weekend starts off with a Friday night parade of the Cardboard Classic entries on the main street in downtown Red Lodge. Entries are built with only three components: cardboard, tape, and glue. The riders usually wear costumes that match the theme of the painted rigs.
The Cardboard Classic race takes place at high noon on Saturday. Riders hop on their homemade cardboard contraptions and sail down the hill at the ski area. Some make it, some don’t. Cash awards go to the most creative entry and the winners of the race.
The race is one for spectators as carnage and destruction are part of the game. With a mass start, the cardboard contraptions crash into each other, fall apart, and litter the course. Rules require entrants to use brakes, but they don’t always work, and in order to finish, any craft riders that fall off must cross the finish line for their craft to be recorded.
Check out the mayhem of last year’s race:
Following the Cardboard Classic, the Bierstube rocks with live music, the costume contest takes place, and skiers and snowboarders jam on the rails — all before the finale. The Wild West Winter Carnival wraps up with a torchlight parade and fireworks lighting up the slopes at Red Lodge.
Some hotels and inns in Red Lodge offer lodging packages that include lift tickets that start at $48 per person per night. Those looking to visit Red Lodge for the Winter Carnival weekend can get ski and stay packages. Passholders from other Montana ski resorts can also purchase a full-day lift ticket for the price of a half-day ticket.
For more information on lodging packages, check here.