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What At Home staffers think you should do this winter

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Skiing cowboys?

33rd annual Budlight Cowboy Downhill,

Steamboat Ski Area, Jan. 16

Call 879-6111

The event takes over Headwall ski run at 1:30 p.m. with a dual slalom race. Only cowboys can enter, and chaps and cowboy hats are required.

The Cowboy Downhill is a perfect fit with Steamboat, considering the community's Western heritage. Billy Kidd, Steamboat's director of skiing and a former Olympic medalist, and Larry Mahan, a six-time all-around world champion cowboy, are credited with starting the event when they invited a few Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association stars to Steamboat for some skiing and racing fun in 1974.

Ski for a cause

Colorado Ski for Women, 12:30 p.m. Jan. 28,

Steamboat Ski Touring Center

Call 879-2034

Cross-country ski or snowshoe a 5-kilometer course at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center. Registration is from 9 a.m. to noon; skiing begins at 12:30 p.m. Participants can win prizes and bid on silent auction items. This year's theme is "Winter Land of Oz" so wear a festive costume of your favorite Oz character. The event benefits Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, and admission is by donation.

Get blinded by the lights

Torchlight parades, 7 p.m. Feb. 14 and March 17 on Mount Werner (watch from Gondola Square)

Call 879-6111

You haven't truly been to Steamboat if you haven't been out for a torchlight parade. Ski and snowboard instructors carry lit torches and ski down the mountain, usually starting in some formation (such as a heart for Valentine's Day or an 06 changing to an 07 for New Year's Eve.) Bundle up and grab a hot chocolate before you watch the fireworks. Gondola Square fills up early, so try to stake out your spot before the crowds.

Winter break

94th annual Winter Carnival, events on Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs and at Howelsen Hill, Feb. 7 to 11

Call 879-0695, ext. 100

The Winter Carnival began in 1914 as a way to interrupt long Routt County winters, bringing area ranchers and miners together to participate in games. The event has evolved into a weekend-long festival, during which Lincoln Avenue is closed and filled with snow as children get pulled on sleds by horses, daddies and doggies, and the high school band plays on skis. The Lighted Man, a skier with lights strapped to his body and a pack that shoots off fireworks, skis down Howelsen Hill. There really is something for everyone.

Don't miss the shovel race involving fools pulled down the street on snow shovels by galloping horses, or, for a glimpse of the history of skiing, check out the muzzle loading biathlon, in which men dressed in buckskins and caps shoot old-fashioned rifles at targets and race on old wooden skis. For event times, visit www.steamboatchamber.com.

Eat some. Eat some more.

Progressive Dinner, Feb. 14

Call 879-5056

Strings in the Mountains' Valentine's Day Progressive Dinner is from 6 to 10:30 p.m. For $125 a person, guests travel to locals' houses, where they are served hor d'oeuvres in one home, soup in another, entrees in a third, and move on to a fourth home for dessert. Transportation is provided.

Get their autographs before they're too famous to care

Jeep Terrain Park Challenge Rail Jams, Gondola Square, Feb. 16

Call 879-6111

Get ideas for new tricks to pull out in the terrain park at this second event in a two-event series. Music and top-ranked athletes get the crowd going as they try to qualify for a regional competition.

We can't dance - but they can

Steamboat Dance Theatre Annual Concert at Steamboat Springs High School, March 8, 9 and 10

Call 879-9008

Steamboat Dance Theatre gives those wanting to perform an outlet to do so. The company offers a part in a dance piece to anyone who auditions, and many locals have the opportunity to choreograph numbers. Because of this, the show is always new and different from years past.

Pull out your green sweater

St. Patrick's Day at Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave., March 17

Call 879-2101

Celebrate your Irish heritage (or your friend's Irish heritage) and party with locals at Old Town Pub, at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue. Come early - the typically laid-back bar gets filled with party revelers dressed in green as locals use any excuse for a night of boozing and fun.

Beer served up from an ice castle

Slopeside Grill, springtime

Call 870-8051

After a long day of skiing or riding, head to Slopeside, where you can sit outside and order drinks at the outside bar sculpted out of ice. Bands perform from time to time. Think how much fun you can have dancing in your ski boots

A classic event

27th annual Cardboard Classic, Steamboat Ski Area, April 7

Call 879-6111

Come out for socializing the weekend before the mountain closes as spectators line the edges of a track on Headwall ski run to watch competitors race down in their homemade cardboard contraptions. Using only duct tape, paint, cardboard and string, locals make an assortment of designs that usually end up destructed. Although prizes are awarded, most people just hope to make it down the hill in their cardboard craft - without getting pelted by too many snowballs.

- Compiled by Allison Miriani

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