Annabeth Light Lockhart grew up attending the Winter Carnival every year, and she still can remember how exciting she found the annual celebration of winter in Steamboat Springs.
"It was fun going down and watching the street events," she said. "We always got a kick out of being able to be a part of those events, too."
Lockhart said one of her favorite moments was watching Steamboat Springs' first Olympian, John Steele, perform on Howelsen Hill.
"I thought he was wonderful. I'd be skiing and he'd be over there jumping," she said smiling.
Now in her 80s, Lockhart and her husband, Lloyd Lockhart, have been selected as this year's Winter Carnival grand marshals, an honor neither saw coming.
"Of course we said we'd do it," Annabeth Light Lockhart said.
"Lloyd has been working with the (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) for years. We've always been active in the club. Our kids skied in the club, and they did some of the street events when they were growing up. We're a skiing family," she said.
It was inevitable that one of Steamboat's most prominent families would be the grand marshals one day, especially because their ties to the community run a century long.
Annabeth Light Lockhart is the granddaughter of F.M. Light, the man who started the famous F.M. Lights & Sons store that still resides on Lincoln Avenue.
In 1905, Light was confident Steamboat could benefit from a men's furnishings store and took a chance in opening one.
A century later, Light's store has grown to include merchandise for men, women and children.
Annabeth Light Lockhart and her high school sweetheart, Lloyd, met in Steamboat and eventually married. The couple never left the valley.
"We thought we should be the grand marshals this year on account of our kids (Tyrone and Delano Lockhart) at the store, because they're celebrating their 100th anniversary," Lloyd Lockhart said.
Lloyd Lockhart was chairman of the Winter Carnival in 1964 for its 50th anniversary. That was the first year the carnival was broadcast on TV.
Annabeth Light Lockhart said she looks forward to participating in all the grand marshal events, which include crowning Winter Carnival royalty and riding in the parade on a horse-drawn sleigh.
Annabeth Light Lockhart recently finished a book chronicling her family's ties to Steamboat. It includes a section about how the first Winter Carnival benefited her family's business, and how the business benefited the carnival.
"The large crowds increased business for F.M. Light & Sons," she wrote. "The store contributed prizes for the ski carnival events starting from the carnival's very first year. ... The town's young skiers would head downtown after school to peruse the items to see what races to enter, based mainly on the prizes offered."
Annabeth Light Lockhart also is proud to say her aunt Hazel Cosand introduced the Diamond Hitch Parade to the Winter Carnival. To be judged in the Diamond Hitch Parade, participants must have at least four skiers or snowboarders holding on to points of a rope tied in the shape of one or more diamonds.
Years later, Annabeth Light Lockhart and some of her friends decided to enter the competition against the older women.
"We were tired of them winning," she said. "We didn't think that was right."
This year, the Lockharts happily will watch over the events that have been part of Steamboat -- and their family's -- history for almost 100 years.