Riding into the next season with popular Humane Society fundraiser
Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect the event’s correct date, which is Saturday, Oct. 2.
If you see costumes downtown Saturday, it’s not Halloween come early, but rather the annual Mustache Ride. Returning for its 14th year, the popular fundraiser will benefit the Routt County Humane Society, providing help for animals and fun for all.
The idea for Mustache Ride, said co-founder Nate Bird, came about strictly as a couple of friends wanting to have a good time and throw a good party during the off-season.
“It has grown immensely over the past decade — purely through repeat participation and word of mouth,” Bird said. “It’s morphed into a huge costume party, and people have a blast all while raising thousands for a cause everyone can get behind.”
After seeing a large number of participants in the event’s second year, Bird and co-founder Rob Peterson decided to turn the event into a fundraiser.
“We thought it was a natural move to turn it into a fundraiser,” Bird explained. “We’re both animal lovers, had rescue animals and thought donating to the Humane Society would be a charity that everyone could support.”
To date, the annual Mustache Ride has raised over $100,000 for the Humane Society, which helps the organization further its causes, such as providing low-cost veterinarian services for community members.
Julia Hebard, marketing and events consultant for the Humane Society, said donations like this help the organization extend its reach and save more animals.
“For example, in 2020, we opened a low-cost wellness clinic that is available to all community members,” she said. “We provide services like spaying or neutering pets and giving vaccines, all at a lower rate.”
One-hundred percent of the money raised from Mustache Ride goes to the Humane Society.
“These guys go above and beyond every year to really help our organization,” Hebard said. “It means the world to us.”
This year, the ride will start at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at McKnight’s Irish Pub in Wildhorse Marketplace, where the group will gather to take a group photo prior to hopping on their bikes and riding downtown. In addition to McKnight’s, participating bars and restaurants downtown include The Barley, Steamboat Whiskey Co., Dude & Dan’s, O’Neil’s Tavern, Back Door Grill and Carl’s Tavern.
A participant’s ‘Stache card, or ticket, gets one drink at each location. ‘Stache cards are $30 in advance or $40 on the day of the event. A vaccination card or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours is required to participate.
Prizes will be awarded in several categories, including best mustache for both males and females, best costume, best group costume and best helmet.
Overall, Bird and Peterson said the event is meant to serve as a reminder of the wonderful place where locals get to live, work and play.
What: The 14th annual Steamboat Springs Mustache Ride
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2
Where: Meet at McKnight’s Irish Pub, 685 Marketplace Plaza, for a group photo before the event kicks off
“I think it demonstrates what a friendly, fun-loving community we have,” Bird said. “People go all out for a good time and take a lot of pride in raising a huge chunk of change for animals in need. On top of that, the event also supports local business and usually provides for a big sales day in what is normally the slow season.”
Peterson said he never imagined the event would turn into what it has.
“At the beginning, it was mostly just for fun and to help out some local businesses during mud season,” Peterson said. “One fun thing I noticed was that as the attendance grew, so did the family participation and the amount of people wearing some amazing costumes, along with their mustaches. As I say, we have two Halloweens here in Steamboat.”
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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