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Celebrate 100 years of Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs

By Carrie Dow

Snow lovers of all ages are invited to the oldest winter carnival west of the Mississippi. Steamboat Springs’ Winter Carnival 2013 runs February 6 -10 and provides a variety of family-friendly fun all weekend. Started in 1914 by locals seeking to cure cabin fever, Winter Carnival hosts a series of sporting events, and whether a participant or spectator, there is no shortage of entertainment. So much so that National Geographic Traveler placed it in the Top 10 Winter Carnivals of the World.

Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs

The carnival kicks off Wednesday, February 6, with Opening Ceremonies and ends on Sunday with a street parade. In between you’ll find all kinds of craziness including ski jumping, three-legged races, fireworks and a spectator favorite, street events for kids.

Skiing events include a cross-country obstacle race, town challenge Alpine race and ski jumping on Howelson Hill’s famous ski jump. Other events are the Soda Pop Slalom, tubing, dual slalom bicycle race and snowboarding jam session. For those who don’t ski, enjoy a pancake breakfast, a torchlight parade, and fireworks sprouting from the famous Lighted Man.

Both Saturday and Sunday the city closes Lincoln Avenue for street events that kids with a sense of adventure can participate in. Whether your tot is the competitive type or just wants to try something new, the street events for kids are the highlight of the weekend. Here are some of the things you might witness:

Donkey Jump – For ages 6-9 and 10-14, contestants attempt to jump off a two-foot ramp while pulled on skis by a horse. The kid with the longest distance and sticks the landing wins.

Ski Jouring – For ages 6-9 and 10-14, contestants race down the street on skis pulled by a horse. The fastest skier wins.

Street Slalom – For ages 6-9 and 10-14, contestants ski through a series of cones while being pulled by a horse. Fastest time wins and anyone missing a cone or falling during the race gets disqualified.

Ring and Spear – For ages 6-9, contestants ski down the street being pulled by a horse. They carry a spear and attempt to collect five rings that are suspended by a rope on the course. Skier with the rings along with the fastest time wins.

Shovel Race – For adults age 18 and over, contestants must sit on a shovel pulled by a horse. Any shovel will do and must be provided by the contestant. Fastest time wins and anyone falling off the shovel is disqualified.

Other street events include 25-yard dog dash featuring kids pulled on a sled by the family dog, a three-legged race on skies and an obstacle course. All street events require registration and signed waivers up to the day of the event. Those entering horse events must register in advance and participants must have goggles and helmets. For more information on registering for street events, visit the Winter Carnival website or call 970-875-7006.

Vacation Rentals in Steamboat Springs

Planning on visiting Steamboat for the Winter Carnival? You might find that the town’s hotels will get booked up pretty early and deals will be few and far between. But if you’re visiting with a family or group or just looking for more flexibility have you considered booking a vacation rental? Take a look at the ByOwner vacation rentals in Steamboat Springs now.

More details on the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival here: http://www.steamboat-chamber.com/info/events/sbcccalendarevent.winter.carnival.item.asp