Steamboat Springs With a variety of events still to come this weekend for Winter Carnival, head to local businesses for the $7 buttons and migrate downtown, to Mount Werner or Howelsen Hill for a tubing party, gelandesprung ski jumping or the chariot races.
All participants and viewers of the weekend's events need the Winter Carnival button, however, a $35 ticket is needed for the Valentine's Snow Bash tonight.
Whether you're racing or watching, the weekend's events will encompass something for everyone.
The chariot races, organized by the Yampa Valley Chariot Racing Association, are preceding a state championship race in two weeks. But for Winter Carnival, Bobby Yeager, member of the association, said chariot races are one of the biggest events claiming over 1,500 spectators.
Participants in the chariot races on Saturday and Sunday will be those who are members of a chariot racing organization from Denver, Utah and Wyoming, to name a few. The best racers from the Saturday event will compete in Sunday's showdown.
Chariot races, like any other horse races, are what Yeager referred to as, "a time you throw all the rules out the door because anything can change."
On the 1/4-mile straight away, 70- to 80-pound chariots race for about 24 seconds at about 40 miles per hour, over and over again until fans are out of money to bet. Calcutta-style betting they call it. Betting that depends on each red or blue team until someone has exhausted all the funds available, Yeager said.
Many horses in the chariot races also participate in the street events.
Street events, such as the Diamond Hitch Parade, can use animals, people or vehicles to pull skiers down the street attached to diamond-shaped ropes. Anyone can enter the parade, but participants must be in "A Snow Extravaganza" costume, use at least one diamond hitch, be on skis or a snowboard and ultimately, hold the diamond position.
Only those with the best costumes that adhere to the theme, competency in holding the diamond shape and skiing ability will win the highest number of points.
Although some events will require extravagant costumes, the Valentines Hearts Afire Snow Bash from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. tonight at the Steamboat Grand Hotel ballroom only requires a little fun and dancing.
Katy Hosmer, the club's director of development and special events, said appropriate dress for the dance is wide open, from casual ski wear to cocktail dresses. The club wants to make certain visiting skiers here for the long Presidents Weekend, feel comfortable attending.
"We don't want any of our visitors thinking, "I'd like to go, but I didn't bring a cocktail dress,'" Hosmer said.
Fredi and the Soul Shakers will take the stage at the dance with the express intent of setting the embers of love to smoldering.
Admission is $35 per person and includes a coffee and dessert bar. A cash bar will also be offered.
Tickets may be purchased at the door, or in advance at the Market on the Mountain, All that Jazz and the Art Company. Although the Snow Bash is a Winter Carnival event, a Winter Carnival button is not needed for admission to the dance, Hosmer said.
Winter Carnival is the annual fund raising event for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, who has named Steamboat "Ski Town USA." Proceeds from the Carnival benefit young athletes of SSWSC to help train in alpine, cross-country, snowboarding, freestyle, jumping and Nordic Combined.
New this year is a fire presentation by Hire Fire and food and beverage concessions by the Steamboat Meat and Seafood Company. For the first year, First National Bank is sponsoring the street events and the Night show.
Street Event Terminology
Ring and Box: On skis, contestants age 6 to 10 hold on to rings of rope and are pulled down the street by a horse. While the contestant is moving, he or she has to drop the ring in a washtub.
Ring and Spear: Contestants on skis are pulled down the street by horses while holding a spear and trying to collect five rings suspended from stands.
Ski Joring: Pulled by a horse, a contestant on skis races a flat course down the street.
Street Slalom: Contestants ski a slalom course through a series of cones while being pulled by a horse.
Donkey Jump: A contestant on skis being pulled by a horse down the street jumps off a 2-foot ramp.
Shovel Race: Contestants sit in any type of shovel and are pulled by a galloping horse.
25-Yard Dog and Dad Dash: Children 5 or younger try to be the fastest one to the finish line while being pulled by the family dog in a sled. This is followed by the Dad Dash, where dads on all fours pull the child in a sled.
Three-Legged Race: Two people on skis tie their legs together and race to the finish line.
Obstacle Course: Contestants on skis maneuver around a variety of obstacles and race to the finish line.