Nordic traditions to be celebrated during festival

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There will be plenty of grass skirts, flower leis and Nordic spirit at the second annual Nordic Festival on Saturday at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center.

But what about the snow?

"It's pretty green out here right now," event organizer Birgitta Lindgren said. "We are hoping to ski, but if we can't, people can come out, enjoy some music, a great lunch and plenty of other activities."

On Thursday, Lindgren said there was snow in some of the Steamboat Ski Touring Center's shaded areas, but that high temperatures and rain had taken its toll on many of the trails.

The event typically features lots of Nordic skiing events such as the bicycle bumps, a tennis-ball biathlon and the Wiley Coyote Chase.

However, this year Lindgren expects the events to be scaled back. She said new nonskiing events would be added to make sure the event is entertaining.

Last year, the festival, which is a fund-raiser for the HÃ¥kan Memorial Benefit, raised $3,461. That money was awarded to two deserving Nordic skiers from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Sarah MacCarthy, who won a state high school title this year, was given $750 to help defray the costs of competing.

Nordic combined skier Davis Miller also received $750 from the memorial benefit. The winners were announced at this year's Winter Carnival Night Show.

"The winners had to be good athletes, good students and good citizens," Lindgren said.

She said the festival was started last year as a way to raise money for the memorial fund, which was named in honor of HÃ¥kan Lindgren, who died in July of 2001.

"We wanted to have an event so that the memorial wouldn't just be a one-time thing," Lindgren said. "We also wanted to have a year-end celebration of the sport of Nordic skiing."

The $5 donation for admission and the sales from the barbecue lunch and T-shirts are used for the memorial and go back to skiers in Steamboat Springs.

Participants also can win a season pass to the touring center for having the best Hawaiian-Viking costume. One adult and one child will earn the passes.

The first 200 children to show up at the event will receive a free lei and grass skirt.


--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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