Annual Community Christmas Dinner in Steamboat Springs brings together young and old, locals and visitors |

Annual Community Christmas Dinner in Steamboat Springs brings together young and old, locals and visitors

Scott Franz

— For yet another year, the menu is mouth-watering and the guest list is expected to grow.

A tasty Christmas tradition will continue Tuesday afternoon when the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors welcomes the community to a large, and free, holiday dinner.

"The community is good to us, and we want to be good to the community," said Niffy McNiff Bube, one of the Realtors helping to organize the annual event at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. "This is one way we can really give back to the entire community."

From 2 to 6 p.m., all community members and visitors are invited to partake in the annual feast that brings together a diverse mix of people to enjoy a meal together.

And there will be plenty of food for everyone to eat.

Preparations started in earnest on Sunday, when 38 turkeys started to be smoked.

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The turkeys will be joined on the menu by an estimated 30 hams, 30 large trays of mashed potatoes and several other side dishes and desserts.

Much of the food has been donated by local restaurants and businesses.

"It truly is a community event in that we have restaurants in town that give their food and their time," McNiff Bube said.

In addition to the food, there also will be revelry. Real estate brokers will play guitar. The Yampa Valley Boys will play cowboy music.

It will be fun, organizers said Sunday as they set up the tables and centerpieces for the event.

The Community Christmas Dinner has humble beginnings.

Realtor Glenna Clark-Olmsted started the event 21 years ago to make sure everyone in Routt County had a place to eat dinner on Christmas. That inaugural dinner served about 36 people.

This year’s organizers are anticipating they could serve more than 600 plates of food Tuesday.

"It has grown every year," real estate broker Penny Fletcher said, noting last year’s tally of 650 dinners served was an all-time high for the event. "And what’s cool about this is the dinner is now old enough to see a new generation of volunteerism happen in our community. We’re starting to see our children step in and give back."

Most of the volunteer slots are filled for the dinner, but organizers say community members still can lend a hand.

To learn what food items still are being accepted for the meal, visit the dinner’s website here.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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