Wyman Museum hosts Winter Festival this weekend | SteamboatToday.com

Wyman Museum hosts Winter Festival this weekend

Brian Smith

Buddy Cassaday, left, and Michael Campe hoist a 300-pound block of ice Thursday in the beginning stages of what will be an ice castle at the Wyman Museum. The castle will lead to a tubing area for children to play.

Nicky Boulger contends "we have winter for six months, we might as well enjoy it."

Boulger, Wyman Museum events coordinator, is helping the Craig community do just that as she wraps up planning for the Wyman Winter Festival, which begins Saturday at the museum, 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40.

The festival, now in its sixth official year, will feature snowmobile racing, a chili cook-off, ice carvings and a cardboard sled derby, among other activities.

An antique snowmobile show starts Saturday's events. The snowmobiles must be from the 1980s or older. They are put into classes according to year and model and brought out to display.

The snowmobiles are judged on appearance, how they have been rebuilt and how they run. They also will be tested on a timed trail course.

The first year of the competition, the festival judged about 12 snowmobiles. Last year's competition jumped to 45.

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Throughout the day, there will be X-treme Mountain Snow-X Racing, which will feature snowmobiles racing on a course with "big jumps, tight turns and dips," Boulger said.

But the event isn't just high-flying snowmobiles.

The Craig Chamber of Commerce also will host a chili cook-off.

The chilies will be separated into different classes and tasted by the public. The best chili wins a prize from the Chamber.

Last year, the cook-off featured 13 different chilies.

Guests can cool off from the chili with ice carving demonstrations.

The festival will bring in a professional ice carver from Denver who carves throughout the event and is scheduled to carve a scuba diver this year.

After the festival, the ice carvings are distributed throughout town to companies that purchased them.

The most romantic part of the event will be the second annual Valentine's Day dinner. The prime rib and king crab dinner is open to the public and will feature a live harpist, hearts, flowers, ice centerpieces for the tables and even a bar made out of ice. The cost of the dinner is $65 per person.

"The ambiance is unlike anything else you'll get in Craig," Boulger said.

Among other events will be a hot toddy bar sponsored by the Northwest Colorado Chapter of Parrotheads, fireworks Saturday night, an outdoor ice-skating rink and a "vendor mini-mall" featuring jewelry, candle and clothing.

"There is usually not much tourism here in this area and we are bringing in a lot of racers from out of the area and that helps the local economy," Boulger said. "We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Craig.

"We just wanted to give back."

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story contained an error and has been corrected.


Wyman Winter Festival event schedule


7 a.m.: Antique snowmobile show registration

9:30 a.m.: X-Treme Mountain Snow-X racing starts

10 a.m.: Antique snowmobile show

11 a.m.: Craig Chamber of Commerce chili cook-off begins

1 p.m.: Cardboard sled judging

6 p.m.: Fireworks show

7 p.m.: X-Treme Mountain Snow-X racing finals

7 p.m.: Valentine’s Day dinner begins


8 a.m.: X-Treme Mountain Snow-X drag racing registration begins

8 a.m.: Snowmobile jackpot rodeo registration begins

9:30 a.m.: X-Treme Mountain Snow-X drag racing starts

11 a.m.: Snowmobile jackpot rodeo starts

Saturday and Sunday events

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

• Sleigh rides

• Ice climbing

• Vendors

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