Local wants to return western flair to Steamboat’s holiday decorations | SteamboatToday.com

Local wants to return western flair to Steamboat’s holiday decorations

Holiday lights grace downtown Steamboat Springs in February as traffic moves along Lincoln Avenue.
Scott Franz

— Jo Sarafis has nothing against holiday lights shaped like snowflakes.

She just doesn’t think a snowflake represents the rich western heritage of Steamboat Springs as well as a spur.

“There are a lot of concerned citizens here who feel we’re losing our western heritage,” Sarafis said Monday as she talked about why she has launched a fundraising campaign to bring spur-shaped decorations back to the light poles on Lincoln Avenue.

Her quest is about much more than holiday lights.

Sarafis has seen western clothing stores disappear over the years.

Then, a few years ago, large spur decorations modeled after the city’s seal rusted and fell into disrepair and were replaced by more conventional snowflake decorations that were easier to store and maintain.

Sarafis wants the spurs back.

“To me, it’s just really sad to see these things go,” Sarafis said of some of the symbols of the city’s western heritage.

Sarafis is now spearheading the Save Our Spurs campaign that aims to raise enough money to purchase as many as 20 new spur-shaped decorations to light up downtown during the holidays.

They would complement the new snowflake decorations and the spur lights that have survived on the skylines above the highway.

The new decorations also would feature LED lights and be easier to store and take care of than the retired models.

“With this campaign, we’re looking to help maintain that western heritage,” Sarafis said. “Our background is ranching, and I think we need to really boost that and keep everyone aware of how steamboat originated and how the ski area came to be.”

The spur decorations that are being sought have been designed and currently cost $667 a piece.

The city has agreed to install, maintain and store the decorations if fundraising efforts are successful.

Although it is not involved in the project, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs also has agreed to be the fiscal agent for the campaign so donations can be tax deductible.

Checks can be made out to Mainstreet with the notation of Save Our Spurs and sent to the organization at P.O. Box 774611, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

Donations also can be made at the downtown Wells Fargo Bank.

“When I first moved to Steamboat 20 years ago and saw the spurs up, I thought ‘that’s amazing,'” Sarafis said. “I’m sure every other community and ski area in colorado has the snowflakes. Those are great, but our spurs hold a really unique place at Christmas time.”

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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