Nothing says spring at Steamboat Ski Area more than SmartWool's Cardboard Classic.
Saturday marks the 25th running of the race, which features homemade crafts constructed exclusively from cardboard, glue, string, water-based paint, duct tape and masking tape.
The Smartwool Cardboard Classic is free to enter and open to anyone ages 5 and older. Adults need to accompany children ages 6 to 10.
In an effort to award the widest variety of entrants as possible -- and there is always a wide array of cardboard crafts -- trophies are handed out in five categories: most creative, ugliest, best individual craft, potpourri and best reproduction of a person, place or thing.
"You never know what's going to happen with the crafts until you get out there," said Heidi Thomsen, public relations manager for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
Last year's race drew 42 crafts, including a rooster, a toilet and a fire-breathing dragon.
Few of them made it to the bottom of the Headwall ski run, but that only added to the entertainment value.
"It's a special event," Thomsen said. "We call it the rite of spring at the ski area."
Willis Galloway, a Ski Corp. employee, found out about the Cardboard Classic and asked his friends whether they would be interested.
Through a series of conversations, Adam Baur, Patrick McCarthy, Mike Polucci, Doug Peterson, Galloway and his brother, Adam, decided on a theme: cereal characters. The six can race together, but six people is the maximum number allowed per craft.
"It seems like a fun thing to do," Baur said. "We're going to build a big cereal bowl. I don't know how it's going to come out. We'll see."
Waiver forms and fact sheets can be picked up from the Information Center in Gondola Square from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. All entrants must complete an entry form.
Registration is from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, race day, at the Information Center, and all participants must check in at the registration center to receive an entry number.
Crafts will be judged during the Cardboard D'Elegance from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday adjacent to the Headwall chair lift. The race will begin after judging is complete.
A post-race award ceremony and party will take place at the Bear River Bar & Grill in Gondola Square immediately after the race. Everyone who enters the SmartWool Cardboard Classic is eligible to enter a drawing that includes a 2005-06 ski pass.
Anyone needing help finding cardboard is encouraged to call the ski area's switchboard at 879-6111 for pick-up information. Anyone needing more information about the event can call the Information Center at 871-5444.