Steamboat’s Downtown Halloween Stroll a 30-year tradition |

Steamboat’s Downtown Halloween Stroll a 30-year tradition

Nicole Inglis

— If there's any concern that downtown businesses will run out of candy Monday evening when thousands pack the streets for the annual Downtown Halloween Stroll, it might be a comfort to know that each business is expected to be stocked with 2,500 pieces of candy or trinkets.

With about 75 businesses in on the fun, that could mean almost 190,000 goodies up for grabs.

"It's huge community event, and the more that are involved, the more of a community event it is," Mainstreet Steamboat Springs manager Tracy Barnett said.

Barnett said the event was launched in the late 1970s — just a few years after she moved to town — by the Downtown Business Association.

"They were trying to figure out a way to create a safe Halloween where everybody could get together and see everybody else," she said. "It's difficult to go from house to house with the hills and ranches. And it was a way for the merchants to give back."

And give back they will from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday. Lincoln Avenue will be closed from Fifth to 11th streets, and there are businesses waiting to hand out candy all along that stretch.

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The street will close at 4 p.m., and a detour will send motorists to Oak Street.

At 4 p.m., representatives from Bike Town USA will be giving a demonstration on the sustainability of bike commuting.

During the stroll, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council will be hosting a series of contests on the Routt County Courthouse lawn. Bring your own already-carved pumpkin for the carving contest from 4 to 5 p.m. Public voting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.

Evil laugh and best scream contests will be at 6 p.m. and are open to all ages.

In addition, there will be about a dozen booths lining the middle of the street consisting of non-downtown businesses that wanted to be involved with the stroll.

The Steamboat Springs High School Drama Troupe also will have a booth outside Johnny B. Good's Diner with face-painting and fortune-telling to raise funds for the new program.

Barnett said her favorite part is seeing what wildly inventive, homemade costumes her friends and neighbors have come up with. Some of the more creative ones have stuck in her mind from recent years, like the family that dressed up as Coors Field.

"Those people who get into it, they really get into it," she said. "I had no idea what Halloween was until I moved to Steamboat."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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