Sarah Floyd: Welcome to Steamboat’s Winter Carnival
For the Steamboat Pilot & Today
Welcome to the 106th Winter Carnival. How fortunate we are to be a part of this longstanding community celebration. Whether you are a long-time local, a new resident to the valley or a Steamboat Springs guest, I hope that you will take part in this historical, fun-filled, and sometimes, wild celebration of winter.
I have had the pleasure of being part of the Winter Carnival as a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club staff since 1987. Since that time, I have been honored to work with our great team of coaches and staff at the SSWSC and many exceptional members of our community to host this event that highlights the wonderful heritage and traditions of our Yampa Valley. This year’s Winter Carnival is no exception.
The 2019 Winter Carnival theme is “Blast of Winter.” Blast applies to various aspects of the carnival. Anyone involved is sure to have a blast, participating or spectating at numerous events, and our awe-inspiring fireworks take the blast to a new level.
During the Night Extravaganza, longtime resident, SSWSC supporter and local pyrotechnic expert Tim Borden will give us a firework show that will be remembered for decades. This year, Tim will be sending off the largest firework ever launched in the world, rivaling his North American record secured two years ago at the 104th Winter Carnival. I invite you to view this spectacle on Saturday night at Howelsen Hill following our traditional night show featuring our SSWSC athletes performing with lights, flares and neon suits across Howelsen Hill.
For 106 years, the SSWSC has been the official organizer of the unique events that make up the Winter Carnival. The SSWSC is an integral part of our community’s athletic, educational and youth development framework that supports our young kids and our community, as well as being a force on regional, national and global stages in winter sports.
As we celebrate Winter Carnival, we are so proud of the tens of thousands of our athletes who have gone on to achieve their dreams in sport and in life. To the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, this fun-filled week of activities is our time to celebrate our community and our passion for winter sports.
We have come a long way from our roots as simply organizers of the carnival. The club now proudly can claim more Winter Olympians than any other town in North America, with 96 Olympians who have made a combined 166 Olympic appearances.
We love to bring all elements of our heritage and traditions together during the Winter Carnival — reveling in our rich western heritage and our love of all outdoor activities in the snow-covered mountains. Athletic events always thrill visitors and members of our community and will feature athletes taking flight off of Nordic jumps, mountain bikes racing down snowy slalom courses, head-spinning tricks through a terrain park, as well as ski, tele and snowboard racing down the slopes of Howelsen Hill.
Be sure to see our exciting Street Events downtown when Lincoln Avenue will be covered with snow for our kid-loving ranchers and horse riders to pull brave young skiers and snowboarders by rope through a number of competition courses and obstacles. These Street Events are some of the signature events that have been held in Steamboat Springs for over a century and truly help us to celebrate both our winter and ranching heritage.
I am grateful for and want to personally thank our broad base of support partners including our Winter Carnival presenting sponsors: Yampa Valley Bank, the city of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Smartwool, Alpine Mountain Ranch and Club, Steamboat Radio, Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty and UCHealth. We also would like to thank the Steamboat Springs Chamber, whose staff is instrumental in partnering with us in putting on the Street Events.
Your purchase of the $10 Winter Carnival button offsets some of the costs of putting on Winter Carnival and supports the SSWSC athletes who perform in the events. In addition to serving as your spectating or participation ticket, wearing the button allows anyone to get free tickets to ski or ride at Howelsen Hill from Feb. 6 to 10 when your button is shown at the ticket office.
As we have for all of these years, let us once again do our part in celebrating winter in the Yampa Valley. I hope you have a “blast” during this year’s Winter Carnival!
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club executive director
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