Chamber summer calendar includes big Fourth of July

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— With the mountain closed and spring in the air, residents are gearing up for one of the best times of the year in Routt County summer.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association staff has been putting together a summer events calender that they hope will not only invite tourists to the area, but will provide events residents will enjoy. The summer season will be kicked off in June and programs are schedule through September.

June

The Steamboat Marathon will be June 4. The chamber is expecting approximately 2,200 locals and visitors for the event.

To find out more about Steamboats summer events calendar, call the Steamboat Springs Chamber at 879-0882 or check out the Web site at www.stmbt-chamber...>

Although the marathon portion of the race already is sold out, John Waldman, chamber special events coordinator, said those interested in running the half marathon still have some time left but not long.

"The marathon sold out in record time this year but we are still accepting half marathon runners," he said. "I expect that the half will be sold out soon though, so people need to hurry to get their applications in. We're accepting 900 people for this portion of the race."

The 10-kilometer portion of the Steamboat Marathon is open to an unlimited number of runners and walkers. Each year, approximately 800 people compete in the event.

For those athletes who prefer biking rather than running, the Sore Saddle-Steamboat Bike Festival will be June 23-25. The event is in its second year and the chamber has been working to beef up marketing of the program, which offers entertainment for every type of biker on the road.

"We'll have a number of events from a group mountain ride, road criterion, women's group ride, BMX races, a group road ride to a hill climb race," Waldman said. "People interested in finding out more about the bike festival should log on to www.steamboatbikefestival.com."

July

In celebration of Routt County's western heritage and centennial, the fourth of July celebrations this year will be similar to years past, but with a little extra spice, Waldman said.

Cowboy Roundup Days will be July 1-4. Each of those days, the chamber will promote special programs, events, live entertainment and family fun. Each evening will be capped by a rodeo at Romick Arena.

This year, organizers have been working on a proposed cattle drive down Lincoln Avenue on July 3. In addition to the cattle drive that morning, organizers will host a public barbecue, live cowboy music and poetry readings as well as a special Strings in the Mountains "songwriters in the round" performance.

On July 4, the chamber will host the traditional parade down Lincoln Avenue. The True Value Country Music Showdown with its regional and national country music acts will be that weekend. Strings in the Mountains will host a free concert and there will be a large fireworks show at dusk.

"We felt that with the centennial, we'd give a kick to the Fourth of July weekend," Waldman said. "We're trying to highlight our western heritage, every year but especially this year because of the centennial. The chamber wants the ranching community to play a large part in Cowboy Roundup Days because they were traditionally responsible for the event. We want to bring the western flavor back into the July fourth weekend."

Following in the footsteps of the July Fourth weekend activities won't be easy, but the chamber has planned the annual Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park for July 14-16. This year, 47 balloons will participate in the colorful event during the day and the balloon shine at night. Art in the Park is held that weekend at West Lincoln Park. It offers a fun venue for the whole family with countless art vendors, entertainment and great food.

September

The Steamboat Labor Day weekend celebration will be Sept. 1-4 with the "Vintage Fly In" on Saturday and Sunday, a free concert on Headwall on Saturday and the Steamboat Springs Classic Labor Day Pro Bull Riding event Sept. 3.

Aviation enthusiasts from all over the country participate in the Vintage Fly In and the event has become so popular, organizers have expanded it from one day to two days.

The pro bull riding event is in its second year and Romick Arena played to a sold-out crowd last year. Top bull riders from around the country will compete, Waldman said.

With September comes the changing of the aspens and the Fall Foliage Festival which is traditionally the end of the summer season in Steamboat.

The annual festival and brewfest will be Sept. 23 on the mountain.

"Plans are in the works to enlarge the event to incorporate the Torian Plum Plaza, Ski Time Square and Gondola Square areas into the Foliage Festival," Waldman said.

From marathon running to bull riding, art in the park to brewfest, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association has a full schedule planned for the summer months in Steamboat.

"We think the summer's signature special events are as strong as they can possibly be this year," Waldman said. "Given the budget we have to work with and the financial means we have to carry out our goals, we're very excited about what we're offering locals and tourists this year."

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