New banners will adorn downtown; capture Steamboat magic |

New banners will adorn downtown; capture Steamboat magic

A partnership between Steamboat Creates and Main Street Steamboat are bringing magical designs by local artist Katie Earixson to banners in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Steamboat Creates and Main Street Steamboat/Courtesy photo

Downtown Steamboat Springs will get an upgrade next week when six new banners are hung along Lincoln Avenue, replacing the current red and yellow banners that hang on the lampposts lining the street.

It was several years ago when Cami Bunn and Melinda Miller conceived the idea and commissioned local artist Katie Earixson to design depictions of scenes in Steamboat that are “magical.”

“Melinda and I were both on the Main Street Design Committee and around 2014, we took on the idea of doing something with the lamp posts on Lincoln Avenue,” explained Bunn. “We studied a bunch of other towns to see what they had done and there was always a theme to each of the towns.”

In coming up with their own theme, the duo decided to focus on the idea that Steamboat Springs had a kind of magic to it – from the famed “Yampa Valley Curse” to daily activities that the community loves. Then, Earixson set about making that magic come to life.

“This work represents many of the cultural events and recreational activities that are quintessentially ‘Steamboat,’” said Earixson.

Images depicting skiing, mountain biking, fishing, a cowgirl, fireworks, a hot air balloon, and music at Howelsen Hill decorate the banners which are done in a rainbow of colors.

“My intention was to celebrate the magic of this special place; to highlight the sparkle of our natural resources and the allure of Western sensibilities,” Earixson said. “Living in Steamboat is meaningful to so many of us. To live here is to live each day to the fullest.”

But once the banners were completed in 2018, they sat tucked away. Now, a collaboration between Steamboat Creates and Main Street Steamboat will allow them to be hung and enjoyed by the community.

Steamboat Creates board member Brad Kindred took charge on the collaboration.

“At Steamboat Creates, we want something that beautifies the city and features a local artist as well as advertises our Colorado Creative District designation – and that’s exactly what these new banners do,” Kindred said.

Steamboat Creates, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, envisions swapping the banners out each year for new ones, still featuring a local artist and capturing the core of Steamboat living.

The banners will be hung at the end of next week for all to enjoy.

“There is so much variety in them,” said Miller. “They really represent us as a community and there is truly something magical about them. It’s something that we’re finally going to be really proud of.”

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