The carnival is coming, and Birgitta Lindgren is ready.
Lindgren, director of the Steamboat Ski Touring Center, picked out her clown costume earlier this week in anticipation of the third annual Colorado Ski for Women, a benefit for Advocates Against Battering and Abuse.
This year's 5-kilometer ski and snowshoe fund-raiser has an added wrinkle -- costumes.
"We want it to be a carnival-like atmosphere," Lindgren said of Sunday's event. "We encourage people to dress up in silly costumes."
Participants will ski or snowshoe to the tunes of the Brew Glass Boys, which play live from noon to 2 p.m.
"It just turns out to be a fun event," said Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates. "People just seem to have a great time. We'll pretty much be taking over the place."
The benefit grew steadily over its first two years, and Moore hopes the event will attract 100 or more people Sunday.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Touring Center. The skiing starts at 12:30 p.m. There is no cost to participate in the ski or snowshoe, but donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go to Advocates.
The first 120 people to register will receive a gift bag courtesy of SmartWool and Fat Eddy's.
All participants are eligible to win a variety of gifts donated by area businesses including Terry Sports and Felix and Fido. Free chili and other snacks will be served. A silent auction will follow the ski and snowshoe events.
"One of the fun things about these events is there are so many generous people in this community," Moore said. "So many people care."
Participants of all ages are welcome, and the event isn't just for women. A separate men's course will be set up in addition to the snowshoe and 5K ski course, Lindgren said. The event isn't timed, and there won't be any individual awards. Participants are paired together in teams of two, and female and male partners are welcome. A 1K course will provide a shorter race for youngsters.
"The courses are very easy, so everyone can enjoy it," Lindgren said. "This is an event, not a race. We won't be timing. It's about going out and enjoying the ski."
The Touring Center offers discounted ski and snowshoe rentals for the benefit.
Last year's Ski for Women event raised about $2,000 for Advocates, not to mention awareness of the growing problem of domestic violence and sexual assault in Steamboat.
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