Holiday party Thursday

Tubing, caroling, refreshments for all ages at annual event

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The annual community holiday party, a yearly reminder that Steamboat Springs has a little bit of Who-ville in its veins, will bring tubing, refreshments and caroling for all ages to Olympian Hall on Thursday.

For 27 years, the city of Steamboat Springs has been hosting one of the largest holiday parties in town, inviting people to tube down Howelsen Hill and sit on Santa Claus' lap.

Christina Freeman of the city's Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department says 200 to 300 people gather each year.

"It is just a nice way for the city to mark the holiday season and provide something for the community," Freeman said.

The number of participants depends mostly on weather, she said, which this year is a mixed blessing. The weather forecast calls for a low temperature of about 3 degrees below zero Thursday night, but Freeman said the storm this weekend helped with the snowpack for tubing.

The holiday party is the only time residents can tube down Howelsen Hill. City officials ask that no sleds or metal runners be used and recommends that families bring tubes. The city will have a limited number of tubes available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The younger children will tube down the face of Howelsen Hill and the older children can tube near the Carrot tow on the skiers' left of Howelsen Hill.

Inside Olympian Hall, hot cider, hot chocolate and cookies will be served, Freeman said. Children and kids-at-heart also can sit on Santa's lap to rattle off Christmas wish lists.

"I don't think Santa has ever turned anyone away who wants to sit on his lap," Freeman said.

Also inside, the Euzoa Bible Church will set up its nativity scene, and caroling occurs throughout the night.

The holiday party starts at 6 p.m. Thursday and is expected to last until 8 p.m. Traditionally the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree on Fetcher Tower is at about 7 p.m.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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