Women’s March on Steamboat Springs surpasses expectations
Organizers were filled with pride as an estimated 1,000 people marched through downtown Saturday during the Women’s March on Steamboat Springs.
“I’m proud that we’ve come together as a community to show Northwest Colorado that we are diverse, we’re welcoming, we believe in freedom and choice, and this is beautiful,” organizer Helen Beall said. “I am emotional right now. Beyond expectations.”
Organizers were originally expecting about 500 people.
The Women’s March started at Bud Werner Memorial Library and went along the Lincoln Avenue sidewalks to Third Street. A rally was then held on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.
Similar marches were held in cities across the country.
The event came a day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, and many of the signs people carried reflected concerns and controversies surrounding his presidential campaign.
Andrea Wambach stood outside the Hungry Dog stand passing out free hot dogs while holding a sign that read “Grab him by the wiener,” a reference to a recording of Trump in which he talked about grabbing women by their genitals.
“I just wanted to spread some love to the ladies out there marching,” Wambach said. “I feel like women need to stand together.”
Steamboat resident Jenna Meier Bilbo held a sign that read “We will not go quietly.”
“I’m incredibly stoked about the turnout,” Bilbo said. “I’m just really excited to see all different sorts of people out here protesting and marching against the ridiculousness that’s been happening right now.”
Bilbo’s friend held a sign that read, “At stake is our bodies, our schools, our planet” and included U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s telephone number.
Noreen Moore, a self-proclaimed hippy who has always been a community activist, said she was marching for human rights.
“I think we really need to not go back 500 years,” Moore said. “This issue, I think, is about our whole human race existing. It’s deeper than just women’s rights.”
Moore was with her daughter, Megan Moore-Kemp.
She said she came out to support equality.
“I think it’s amazing,” she said as the group gathered on the courthouse lawn.
Organizer Linda May Morrison led the rally, which included music and poetry readings.
“I think it was amazing,” she said. “I didn’t expect this many people. There are twice as many people as we thought. Steamboat is terrific.”
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With abnormally low snow levels, most of the snow skiers and snowboarders will encounter Saturday during Steamboat Resort’s Opening Day will be manufactured.