Yampa Street Live launches with a beach party | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Street Live launches with a beach party

Scott Franz

Children and parents converged on a pile of sand on Sunday in the middle of Yampa Street. The first Yampa Street Live event featured a beach theme.

Sunday likely was the only day this summer that kids could build sand castles in the middle of Yampa Street.

Brothers Wyatt and Mason Boatner appeared to savor every minute of the rare opportunity as hundreds of people strolled along the downtown thoroughfare for the inaugural and beach-themed Yampa Street Live event.

The three-hour affair, which featured the small plot of trucked-in sand, Reggae music, face painting and street vendors, was the first in what will be a monthly series designed to test Yampa’s potential as a festival street.

With a constant flow of people and bikers and street-side diners going by, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said the event confirmed that the street has the potential to hold more festivals.

"The families love having something to do with the kids," she said as crowds converged on the couple of blocks that were closed to vehicles for the event. "I think we’ll make the next ones longer and bigger."

She said the first Yampa Street Live event also allowed downtown stakeholders to clearly see some of the street’s needs if Yampa Street were to continue hosting large, multiblock gatherings.

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New power sources could prevent the need to rent a generator that was required Sunday for the Reggae band, and some of the parks along the street someday could host four bands simultaneously or provide a better focal point in an event.

A group of stakeholders on Yampa currently are waiting to see whether the Steamboat Springs City Council will approve spending some of the available lodging tax on a promenade project that could make the street a better one to host events on.

As she walked down the street with her family Sunday, Amy Maxwell said she was expecting a little more sand, but the blocks of vendors and street games were fun.

"This is what makes our town unique," Maxwell said.

She did have some suggestions for the follow-up festivals, including more kids activities.

Yampa Street Live continues July 21 with a "dog days" theme that will include agility courses and splash pools.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com