Winter Carnival kicks off tonight |

Winter Carnival kicks off tonight

Melinda Mawdsley

The 92nd annual Winter Carnival begins today with a fresh blanket of snow atop Howelsen Hill.

The annual tribute to Steamboat Springs’ rich skiing heritage and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club begins with the opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. at Olympian Hall.

The event is a chance for family and friends to honor the Winter Carnival queen, her court of attendants and princesses, and the grand marshals.

This year’s grand marshals are Jim Temple and his wife, Audrey Light Temple. Both are Routt County natives. They won’t be present, but one of their sons, Jeff Temple, plans to attend on their behalf.

Jim Temple is the man who planned and began construction on the Steamboat Ski Area. Audrey Light Temple began the Little Toots Ski Club, which is still in operation.

This year’s Winter Carnival queen is Tina Roberts, a Steamboat Springs High School graduate and Alpine racer with the Winter Sports Club. Roberts, 17, will be joined by her attendants, freestyle skier Jenny Lee, 16, and Nordic skier Sarah MacCarthy, 17. The queen and two attendants are selected to represent the Winter Sports Club’s ideals. The criteria include scholarship, sportsmanship and prior involvement with the club and the Winter Carnival.

The 12 princesses, who come from any of the city’s learn-to-ski programs, are Meg Anderson, 6; Esther Rose DelliQuadri, 5; Libby Lukens, 5; Gillian Cook, 5; Hadley McGee, 5; Lyta Foulk, 5; Keira Petty, 6; Sierra Good, 5; Riley Toye, 6; MacKenzie Ward, 6; Evey Jane Williams, 5; and Cassett Yeager, 6.

The opening ceremonies will kick off five days of winter-related activities downtown. Buying one, $7 button designed by Steamboat Springs High School senior Nicole Balvanz gets people into most Winter Carnival events. The theme of this year’s carnival is “Skis, Snowboards … Stars and Stripes.”

Buttons can be purchased at various locations throughout Steamboat, including the Winter Sports Club’s main office at Howelsen Hill, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and other local businesses.

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