Women’s March returns to Steamboat Springs Jan. 21 | SteamboatToday.com

Women’s March returns to Steamboat Springs Jan. 21

Women's March on Steamboat Springs participants hold signs during a rally Jan. 21, 2017, at the Routt County Courthouse. Another Women's March is planned for Sunday in Steamboat.
Matt Stensland

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Organizers believe there is more reason than ever to participate in the second annual Women’s March on Steamboat Springs.

The inaugural, worldwide event on Jan. 21, 2017, was held the day after President Donald Trump was elected.

In Steamboat, it mobilized 1,000 people who marched peacefully down Lincoln Avenue while carrying signs and chanting.

“It was a great way for our community to come together and exercise our freedom of speech,” organizer Helen Beall said. “It was that feeling of you can do something as a community. Bringing that to our community is important.”

Participants will gather at 10 a.m. Sunday at Bud Werner Memorial Library and then march down the sidewalks along Lincoln Avenue.

The event will culminate with an 11 a.m. celebration at the Routt County Courthouse featuring live music, speakers and poetry.

Other Women’s March events will be held throughout the country Saturday and Sunday.

“Last year was an amazing turnout of about 1,000 people, and there was so much energy and enthusiasm,” said Millie Beall, who is also helping organize the local event. “And this goes across the nation. So many positive feelings that came out of that march.”

It is not just women who are taking to the streets. Men and children are also asked to attend and bring signs.

“We’re encouraging everyone to make a sign,” Millie Beall said. “We want them to be positive messages.”

Millie Beall has lived in Steamboat since 1971, and she could not recall a demonstration that has attracted as many people as last year’s march.

She said it is important to keep the Women’s March momentum going.

“To reaffirm the commitment that everyone made to a positive future for everybody,” Millie Beall said. “We don’t want any complacency in the United States of America.”

Last year, many of the demonstrators focused on the newly-elected president and controversy that followed his campaign.

This year’s march is guaranteed to include opinions on Trump’s first year in office in addition to ongoing social issues.

“Personally, I think you could march on every position imaginable,” Millie Beall said. “We’re marching because we want to stand together against violence, oppression, for free speech, justice, respect, inclusion for all people, solidarity among Americans to support the fact that we are a country of immigrants, and we have to look back on that and realize that fact.”

Environmentalists are also expected to have a strong presence at this year’s march.

“Right here in Western Colorado our environment is being attacked and our public lands … oh my goodness,” Millie Beall said. “I imagine we’ll see a plethora of slogans on people’s signs.”

Organizers are hoping for another large crowd Sunday.

“I think more than last year we have reasons for marching,” Millie Beall said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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