Allison Plean: Cowbells, golf tees and crayons

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Allison Plean

Allison Plean's column appears Fridays in the 4 Points arts and entertainment section in the Steamboat Today. Contact her at 871-4204 or e-mail aplean@steamboatpilot.com.

The rules were simple. Do nothing illegal, do not destroy public or private property and don't wear roller skates. However, encouraging complete (male) strangers to dress up as women for a Polaroid picture was encouraged.

It was all part of the Local Brigade's scavenger hunt Saturday, and all three teams accomplished the Polaroid feat.

If you saw people doing cartwheels on the courthouse lawn or challenging strangers to a freestyle rap contest, your eyes did not deceive you. Three teams were given a list of 71 items to collect, stunts to perform or Polaroid pictures to take that relied on locals, tourists and the intrepidity on which Steamboat Springs was founded.

This is a critical time in the history of the Yampa Valley. Construction is booming. Oak Creek just celebrated its centennial. Our mud seasons are getting shorter and shorter, and our real estate is getting more and more expensive.

Everyone is concerned that we are turning into another Aspen.

Steamboat has always been known as a family-friendly, authentic and unpretentious community. We all are guilty of trying to create a lifestyle not dictated by commercialization, and I believe most residents have a little bit of the Peter Pan spirit in them.

Yes, we now have the Sports Authority, Staples and too many Starbucks. We also still have residents who will start a conga line on Lincoln Avenue and sing the chorus of "We Built This City" in All That Jazz.

Adventurousness is at the soul of Steamboat, and no fancy condominiums can take that away from us.

My friend Nick Marzano and I started the Local Brigade - a member-based, event-planning endeavor - to give locals a sense of ownership in their community and an opportunity for creative events that are not solely based on alcohol consumption.

Most residents in this town love to dress up, so every "night out" has a theme. This Sunday night's event has a construction theme and will be buoyed by building-based games (think Lincoln Logs and Jenga).

The city of Steamboat Springs even lent us new orange construction cones for the event, which begins at 10 p.m. and will feature Deejay Theory. The location will not be disclosed until the day of the event - and only then through word of mouth - once again to give members that sense of tenure in the concept.

Upcoming events include a town-wide game of capture the flag, a kickball bash, a second-chance prom and a weekend-long campout with 24 hours of music provided by various deejays in which the proceeds will benefit a local nonprofit organization. Volunteering events will be on the calendar as well.

With all the impending change in Steamboat Springs, we have Historic Routt County to preserve local buildings, Tread of Pioneers Museums to preserve local artifacts and the Local Brigade to perpetuate a strong sense of community and preposterousness. Steamboat Springs' most valuable asset is the spirit of our residents and their ability to embrace it with youthful fortitude.

The scavenger hunt Saturday was probably the most fun I've had in my six years in Steamboat, and I was only a judge. It was an activity not based on profit, development or recklessness.

Every day, I am reminded why I live here. Last Thursday, I saw a mule tied to the railing of the Double Z Bar & Bar*B*Q. I no longer fear our Neverland turning into the next Aspen.

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