Just imagine Barry Gibb at the height of the Bee Gees popularity, add a pair of cross-country skis and Viking flair and you have what it takes to be a contender in the HÃ¤kan Memorial Nordic Festival costume contest.
The Disco Viking costume contest is just one of the many fun activities planned for Saturday's fourth annual Nordic Ski Fest, which will be on the snow at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center.
In addition to the wacky costumes, there also will be competitive ski races, an air guitar contest, a pig roast and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Nordic program awards ceremony.
"This is designed to be a fun event that celebrates the season," Birgetta Lindgren said. "It's a place where you can bring the whole family and just have some fun."
Lindgren has organized the festival since 2003, when it was started as a memorial for her husband, HÃ¤kan Lindgren. He was a strong supporter of the local Nordic skiing community before his death in July 2001, and his legacy continues to support Nordic skiing in our valley.
The Steamboat Ski Touring Center began hosting the Nordic Fest as a way to maintain the HÃ¤kan Memorial Fund, which provides financial support for emerging young Nordic combined skiers, cross-country skiers and ski jumpers who are members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Each year, the costume contest has a Viking theme, honoring HÃ¤kan's Scandinavian roots. He was a native of Sweden.
Past themes have included Rodeo Viking and Hawaiian Viking, and the best-dressed adult, child and family in this year's contest will be rewarded with a season pass to the Steamboat Ski Touring Center.
Lindgren said the costume contest helps create a festive atmosphere for a celebration of Steamboat's Nordic heritage. There will be a few competitive cross-country races at Saturday's event, but there is no question that this event is not about winning -- it's about having a good time.
Other events include the Optimists Wiley Coyote Chase and the always-popular bicycle bumps contest. This year, the festival also includes 1-kilometer, 3-kiometer and 10-kilometer cross-country races.
But because the organizers wanted to maintain a noncompetitive feel for the event, those races will be held at 9 a.m. The bulk of the Nordic Festival activities begin at 10 a.m.
Admission is free, but organizers are hoping that participants will make donations. Those contributing $50 or more will receive a pair of Smartwool socks. There will be a pig roast, and the cost for lunch is $5.
Olympic skiers including Clint Jones, Tommy Schwall, Johnny Spillane and Todd Lodwick are expected to be on hand for the celebration and will take part in many of the events. Norwegian Bjoern Einar Romoeren also will attend. Romoeren jumped 239 meters in Planica, Slovenia, last year, farther than anyone off of a ski jump.
-- To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or e-mail email@example.com