2023 Winter Carnival schedule | SteamboatToday.com
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2023 Winter Carnival schedule

Winston Whitten catches some big air Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, while participating in the Cross Country Ski Obstacle Course race at the base of Howelsen Hill. The event was part of the 110th Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in the Winter Carnival special section published on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The 110th Winter Carnival takes place February 8-12. 

A 2023, $10 Winter Carnival button or $15 buff is required for entry/spectating at all events.



Your button or buff will grant you access to all events you register for, and will earn you a free lift ticket at Howelsen Hill each day from February 8-12. (You must obtain a physical lift ticket at the Howelsen Hill ticket office.) All events take place at Howelsen Hill unless noted otherwise. A signed liability release is required for participation in all events. A helmet is required for all events except Cross Country.

Wednesday, February 8

5:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies



(Olympian Hall, Howelsen Hill Lodge, Downtown off of 5th)

A celebration honoring the Winter Carnival Queen, her Court of Attendants, Little Princesses, and the Grand Marshals.

5-8 p.m. Nordic Excavating Hitchens Brothers Wednesday Night Jump

(Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

Calling all kids ages 8-13 (born in 2008-2013) who want to try out the Nordic Jumps at Howelsen Hill! SSWSC coaches will help you learn to jump on the jump size that fits your age and skill level! Skis only, no snowboards. Hardshell over-ear helmets required. Registration closes Tuesday, February 7 at 5 p.m. https://www.sswsc.org/events/wednesday-night-jump

Thursday, February 9

2-6 p.m. Air Bag Jam Session

(SSWSC Athlete Display, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

Watch as SSWSC freestyle, freeskiing, and snowboard athletes launch into the air and work on their tricks, landing on a 50-foot airbag! Closed to the public, this event offers exceptional photography opportunities of airborne athletes!

4 p.m. Snow Sculpture Viewing

(All Ages, Lincoln Avenue)

Stroll down Lincoln to view hand-carved snow sculptures! Judging will occur at 4 p.m.  on February 9, and winners will be highlighted with ribbons and announced at the street events on February 11 and 12. Student and community teams will build sculptures on February 9, inspired by the Dream, Dare, Dazzle theme! Vote on your favorite sculpture at @SteamboatCreates on Facebook and Instagram. For more info, contact Steamboat Creates at (970)879-9008, or robin@steamboatcreates.org.

Why get a buff or a button?

Funds from button sales go towards hosting Winter Carnival and support the athletes of the SSWSC. In addition, wearing your button or buff gives you free skiing at Howelsen Hill February 8- February 12! (Must obtain a lift ticket at the ticket office.) 

This year’s youth button art was designed by Davis Brosterhous, 14, and the buff and poster art was designed by local artist Joanne Orce.

4 p.m. Ski Jumping Jamboree

(Ages 4-11, Howelsen Hill Jumps)

An enjoyable time for children to try the Bump Jump and 20-meter jump at the nordic jumping complex of Howelsen Hill for some “flying fun” on alpine equipment. Pre-registration is not required, but a release form must be signed or already on file with SSWSC in order to participate.

4:30-5:30 p.m. Cross Country Obstacle Course

(Ages 5-12, Rodeo Grounds Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

A fun and entertaining non-competitive obstacle course for cross country or wanna-be skiers at Howelsen Hill. Spectators are welcome. Pre-registration is not required, but a release form must be signed or already on file with SSWSC in order to participate.

4:30-6 p.m. Family Duals

(All ages, Howelsen Hill)

Everyone is a winner in this friendly competition. Join our family fun by racing or bumping down the junior courses on Howelsen Hill Face. Go head to head on the GS-style race course. Pre-registration is not required, but a release form must be signed or already on file with SSWSC in order to participate.

5-6 p.m. Powder Tools Terrain Park Jam Session

(Ages 14 and under, Howelsen Hill)

Open to both skiers and snowboarders. Located under the lights of Howelsen Hill Terrain Park, this event is open to the public. Pre-registration is required at 4:00 pm at the terrain park. A liability waiver must be signed or already on file with the SSWSC to participate. Practice runs from 4:30-5 p.m., and Jam Session from 5-6 p.m.

5:30-6:30 p.m. Winter Carnival Memories

(Olympian Hall, Howelsen Hill)

Join the Tread of Pioneers Museum and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club for a special evening with a panel of longtime locals sharing their favorite memories of Winter Carnivals throughout the decades. Free hot beverages served. No RSVP, free event. 

5:30-8:30 p.m. S’more Family Fun Party 

(Howelsen Hill Party Tent, Downtown off of 5th Street)

Presented by Off the Beaten Path/BookTrails

Food provided by La Central Catering and Moving Mountains

Families, take part in the Winter Carnival Celebration! During the evening activities at Howelsen Hill, a family-style chili and s’more party will take place in the big white tent on Vanatta Ballfield. Just call it S’More Family Fun!  Enjoy the outside activities, then head into the tent for warm chili, a DJ, and dancing! Complete with a bonfire and s’more-making outside! A Winter Carnival button/buff and tickets are required. Food is served first come, first serve, 5:30-7 p.m.

5-6 p.m. Powdertools Mid-winter Terrain Park Jam Session

(Ages 14 and Under, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

Open to both skiers and snowboarders. Located under the lights of Howelsen Hill Terrain Park, this event is open to the public. Pre-registration is required at 4:00 p.m. at the terrain park. A liability waiver must be signed or already on file with the SSWSC to participate. Practice runs from 4:30-5 p.m., and Jam Session from 5-6 p.m.

5-6:30 p.m. Family Duals 

(All Ages, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

Everyone is a winner in this friendly competition. Join our family fun by racing or bumping down the junior courses on Howelsen Hill Face. Go head to head on the GS-style race course. Pre-registration is not required, but a release form must be signed or already on file with SSWSC in order to participate.

5:30-7 p.m. Ski Jumping Jamboree

(Ages 4-11, Hill Size Bump & 20, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

An enjoyable time for children to try the Bump Jump and 20-meter jump at the nordic jumping complex of Howelsen Hill for some “flying fun” on Alpine equipment. Pre-registration is not required, but a release form must be signed or already on file with SSWSC in order to participate.

Friday, February 10

10 a.m. Christy Sports Soda Pop Slalom

(Ages 10 and under for little kids, ages 11-14 for big kid duals Howelsen Hill, magic carpet, and Face)

This is a fun race with a starter, announcer, and a soda pop reward for all participants! This race is open to skiers and snowboarders! We will offer a duals race course on the magic carpet for little kids from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.  and on the Face for big kids from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ! This fun, non-timed course allows kids of all ages to race their friends and family. 

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Winter Carnival Poster Signing with artists Joanne Orce

(Old Town Hot Springs)

Meet Winter Carnival poster artist Joanne Orce at Old Town Hot Springs. Bring your poster, or posters will be available for purchase.

4:30-6 p.m. Nordic Jumping Exhibition

(SSWSC Athletes, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

SSWSC Nordic Combined and Special Jumping athletes jumping the 20-meter, 30-meter, 45-meter,75-meter, and 100-meter jumps.

5-5:30 p.m. New this year! Ski Ballet

(Howelsen Hill, Ponyland, the big magic carpet next to the nordic ski jumps)

Wear your sequins and stretch pants! A throwback to the mid-70s and once an official Olympic sport, ski ballet in its purest form included routines choreographed to music consisting of flips, jumps, rolls, spins, and leg crossings. In this Winter Carnival competition, anything goes, but costumes are mandatory! All competitors must attend a pre-competition meeting at 4:30 p.m.  on February 10 to sign a waiver and receive a lift ticket by showing Winter Carnival Button. Join the fun as a competitor or spectator at Howelsen Hill.

6-7 p.m. Amateur Ski Jumping

(Ages 15+, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

Ski Jumping (on Alpine equipment) under the lights on the historic ski jumps of Howelsen Hill. Prizes, jumping, and high-flying is fun. Register ($25) the night of the event from 5:00-5:45  p.m.  in the Fireplace Room at Howelsen Hill Lodge. For more information, contact Pat Arnone at 970-734-8966.

6-8 p.m. Johnsie Memorial Dual Slalom Bicycle Race

(Ages 12+, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

An exciting on-snow mountain bike event. Most of the action takes place on the poma ride up to the top of the course, but this year the course will include more terrain and jumps to spice up the action. Come take a chance and ride the course or spectate and watch the action.  The event includes practice, qualifying, and final competition rounds. Register for FREE the night of the event, 5-5:30 p.m.  in the Fireplace Room at Howelsen Hill Lodge.

For more information, contact Wheels Bike Shop at 970-819-4805.

7-11 p.m. Tito’s Mountain Soiree

(Age 21+, Howelsen Hill, in the Tent at Vanatta Field)

Presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Celebrate the 110th Winter Carnival at an 80’s themed dance party with an evening of libations, food, live music by the 6 Million Dollar Band, fire pits, and more. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Saturday, February 11

8 a.m. 100-meter Nordic Sprint

(All Ages, Downtown, Lincoln Avenue)

The Steamboat Springs Nordic Council is looking for the fastest skate skiers in the Boat! They are hosting a 100-meter Nordic Sprint on Lincoln Avenue between 7th and 8th streets prior to the Street Events. The race will have male and female divisions as well as 13 and over & 12 and under age categories. Anyone interested can register for this for free. Check in the morning of the event with SSWSC XC Progr a.m. Director Brian Tate at 7:30  a.m. on 7th Street.

9 a.m.-noon Street Events

Presented by Yampa Valley Bank

A wildly entertaining show featuring children on skis and snowboards being pulled behind horses along snow-covered Lincoln Avenue. Races include street slalom, ski joring, donkey jumps, 3-legged races, 25-, 50-, and 75-yard dashes, and the famous adult shovel race. The horse events are for children ages 6-14, and non-horse events for ages 1-14.  Pre-registration for horse event is required HERE. Registration opens on February 3 at 10 a.m.. Non-horse event registration is on-site the morning of the event. Don’t forget your Winter Carnival button or buff to spectate!

1 p.m. Pro Alpine Ski Jumping Qualifications

(Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

This is a must-see ski jumping event with participants launching off of the 100 meter on Alpine skis and boots, rather than the usual ski jumping equipment. For more information, contact Pat Arnone at 970-734-8966, $100 entry fee.

6:45-7:15 p.m. SSWSC Athlete Exhibition

(Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

SSWSC athletes demonstrate their skills as the sun sets behind Howelsen Hill!

7:30-8:30 p.m. Night Extravaganza

(Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

Presented by Yampa Valley Bank

Athlete Lighting Provider: Yampa Valley Electric Association

Join us for this must-see evening of entertainment at historic Howelsen Hill!

This community favorite draws thousands of spectators for an exciting light display! The evening highlights local athletes showing their prowess in the dark, lit by flares and LED lights. The Lighted Man will then ski down Howelsen Hill shooting fireworks from his pyrotechnic suit, and jumpers will soar through a fiery hoop off of the nordic jumps! End the night with a stunning fireworks show!

Spectators: Don’t forget your Winter Carnival button or buff!

Sunday, February 12

9-11 a.m. Street Events

Presented by Yampa Valley Bank

A wildly entertaining show featuring children on skis and snowboards being pulled behind horses along snow-covered Lincoln Avenue. Races include street slalom, ski joring, donkey jumps, 3-legged races, 25-, 50-, and 75-yard dashes, and the famous adult shovel race. The horse events are for children ages 6-14, and non-horse events for ages 1-14.  Pre-registration is required. Registration opens on February 3 at 10 a.m.. Non-horse event registration is on-site the morning of the event. Don’t forget your Winter Carnival button or buff to spectate!

11 a.m. Diamond Hitch Parade (after the street events)

The di a.m.ond hitch consists of at least four skiers. The skiers hold on to points of a rope tied in the shape of one or more diamonds. Animals, people or vehicles may pull the skiers down the snow-filled streets. Anyone is welcome to enter the parade. Pre-registration required.

1-2 p.m. Pro Alpine Ski Jumping Finals

(By Qualification, Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th)

This is a must-see ski jumping event with qualifying participants launching off of the 100 meter jump again on Alpine skis and boots, rather than the usual ski jumping equipment. Watch as the jumpers try to break the hill record. For more information, contact Pat Arnone at 970-734- 8966, $100 entry fee.

Street Events

Saturday, February 11

8:15 a.m. 100-meter Nordic Sprint. Register with the Nordic Council for this event.
9:00-9:35 a.m. – SkiJoring (6-9 years)
9:35-10:10 a.m. – SkiJoring (10-14 years)
10:10-10:45 a.m. – Street Slalom (10-14 years)
10:45-10:55 a.m. – 3-legged Race, 50yd (5-8 years)
10:55-11:05 a.m – 3-legged Race, 75yd (9-11 years)
11:05-11:15 a.m. – 25yd Dash (3-5 years)
11:15-11:25 a.m. – 50yd Dash (6-8 years)
11:25-11:35 a.m. – 75yd Dash (9-11 years)
11:35-12:05 p.m. – Donkey Jump (6-9 years)
12:05-12:10 p.m. – Shovel Race (18+)

Sunday, February 12

9:00-9:35 a.m. – Street Slalom (6-9 years)
9:35-9:45 a.m. – 25yd Dog Dash (0-5 years)
9:45-9:55 a.m. – 25yd Dad Dash (0-5 years)
9:55-10:30 a.m. – Donkey Jump (10-14 years)
10:30-10:35 a.m. – Shovel Race (18+)
11:00 a.m. – Diamond Hitch Parade begins

Horse Events

Ski Joring

(Ages 6 – 9 and 10 – 14)

Contestant with skis will race a flat course down the street while being pulled by a horse. Fastest time wins.

Street Slalom

(Ages 6 – 9 and 10 – 14)

Contestant with skis will ski a slalom course through a series of cones while being pulled by a horse down the street. Fastest time wins. Anyone missing a cone or falling during performance will be disqualified.

Donkey Jump

(Ages 6 – 9 and 10 – 14)

Contestant will attempt to jump off a 2-foot ramp while being pulled on skis by a horse down main street. Longest distance while maintaining a standing position wins.

Shovel Race

(Ages 18 and over)

Contestants will situate themselves in a shovel of any type and while being pulled by a horse, will race a flat course down the street. Fastest time wins. Anyone falling off the shovel during performance will be disqualified.

Non-horse events

Waivers must be signed by participants or their guardian the day of the event at the start line.

25-yard Dog and Dad Dash

(Ages 5 and under)

Children 5 years old and younger compete against one another while being pulled in a sled or toboggan (no metal runners allowed) by the family dog. All dogs must be leashed and led by the parent/dog owner during the dash. Following the dog competition will be the Dad Dash with Dad on all fours pulling the child. First one over the finish line wins.

3-Legged Race

(Ages 5 – 8 and 9-11)

Two people on skis tie legs together (ties provided) and race to finish line. The first pair over the finish line wins.

Obstacle Course

(Ages 4-6, 7-10, and 11-14)

Contestants on skis maneuver around a variety of obstacles and then make a straight dash to the finish line. First one over the finish line wins.

25-, 50-, and 75-yard Dashes

25 Yard Dash for ages 3-5 years, 50 Yard Dash for 6-8 years and 75 Yard Dash for 9-11 years all on skis.

Information courtesy of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.


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