8 Winter Carnival events sport lovers shouldn’t miss | SteamboatToday.com

8 Winter Carnival events sport lovers shouldn’t miss

Cyclist Ryan Hoffman crashes while racing down the face of Howelsen Hill during the Johnsie Memorial Dual Slalom Bicycle Race in 2019.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Winter Carnival festivities fill the streets of Steamboat Springs with unique activities, skiing kids, sculptures and tons of snow. Just walking down Lincoln Avenue, locals and visitors can stumble upon races or contests, but if the thrill of competition is what they seek, they should mark their schedules for these eight exciting events. 

1. Johnsie Memorial Dual Slalom Bicycle Race — 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7
Howelsen Hill Ski Area, 845 Howelsen Parkway
Named after the late founder and director of the event, Chris Johns, the dual slalom bike race is as equally hilarious as it is astonishing. Competitors of all ages lug their bikes up the Poma Lift then attempt to control them while weaving in and out of slalom gates down the steep face of Howelsen Hill Ski Area. Riders are sure to wipe out while others will blaze down the face with ease. 

2. Christy Sports Soda Pop Slalom — 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7
Steamboat Resort, 2305 Mount Werner Circle
The Soda Pop Slalom is by far the cutest event at Winter Carnival and draws a crowd at the base of Steamboat Resort, so get there early if you want the best view. Since its inception in 1979, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders, younger than 11, will race for a goodie bag and of course, a soda pop.

3. 100-meter Nordic sprint — 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8
Downtown Steamboat Springs
While waiting for the Street Events to begin Saturday, Feb. 8, the fastest skiers in Steamboat will sprint along Lincoln Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets at 8 a.m. The race will have male and female divisions and will also feature a 12-and-younger category. Don’t blink or you might miss an Olympian zooming by. 

4. Pro Alpine Ski Jumping Finals — 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9
Howelsen Hill Ski Area
Howelsen Hill is home to a handful of ski jumps, which seasoned athletes usually launch off of on specific ski jumping equipment. On Sunday, finalists in the pro Alpine ski jumping competition will jump while using Alpine skis and boots. 

5. Nordic Jumping Exhibition — 4:30 p.m. Friday Feb. 7
Howelsen Hill Ski Area
Howelsen Hill, named for the founder Carl Howelsen of the original Winter Carnival, or the Midwinter Sports Carnival in 1914, is host to a variety of ski jumping events over the course of the 107th Winter Carnival. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes will show why they are some of the best in a Nordic jumping exhibition on the HS 20, 30, 45 and 75 jumps.

6. Amateur Ski Jumping — 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7
Howelsen Hill Ski Area
Immediately after the jumping exhibition, there will be amateur ski jumping under the lights. Competitors will jump on Alpine equipment, battling it out for prizes. 

7. Shovel Racing — 11: 55 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, and 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 9
Downtown Steamboat Springs
If Winter Carnival attendees are in the mood for something really strange, they should witness one of the original events of the Winter Carnival. Shovel racing dates all the way back to the first carnival in 1914. The gutsiest helmet-clad adults cling on to shovels as a horse drags them down Lincoln Avenue. Shovel races take place at 11:55 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, and at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 9. 

8. Skijoring — various times Feb. 8
Downtown Steamboat Springs
Skijoring has been around for a long time and arrived in Steamboat in 1915. Participants, ages 6 to 14, ski down Lincoln Avenue going over jumps, all while being dragged by a horse. Street Events on Lincoln Avenue run on both Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon and include a three-legged race, a slalom race, donkey jump and obstacle courses.

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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