In keeping with the theme of the Merry Mainstreet celebration, the new Steamboat Ski & Sport Downtown Howelsen Place store will display this gingerbread house, created by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. baker Jean Wernig, on Saturday night. Director of Skiing Billy Kidd will be at the new store on Seventh Street from 5 to 7 p.m.

Courtesy photo

In keeping with the theme of the Merry Mainstreet celebration, the new Steamboat Ski & Sport Downtown Howelsen Place store will display this gingerbread house, created by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. baker Jean Wernig, on Saturday night. Director of Skiing Billy Kidd will be at the new store on Seventh Street from 5 to 7 p.m.

Mainstreet to unveil festival

Holiday celebration will feature carolers, treats, open houses

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— Lincoln Avenue will become "Merry Mainstreet" on Saturday night during downtown Steamboat Springs' inaugural Christmas season block party.

Traffic will be redirected off U.S. Highway 40 downtown during the holiday festivities, which will include roving carolers, treats and open houses by local merchants - a retail scene that is much like Steamboat's annual Downtown Halloween Stroll, which is put on by Mainstreet Steamboat Springs every October.

Downtown strollers will be able to cast votes for their favorite professional gingerbread house. Entries will be on display at The Homesteader, Steamboat Ski & Sport Downtown Howelsen Place, Epilogue Book Co., K. Saari Gallery and Off the Beaten Path.

Pastry chef and The Homesteader co-owner Daniela Kennedy's entry already was on display Thursday night in her storefront window. A pair of Santa Clauses graced her large-scale creation - one stuck upside-down in the chimney on the Frosted Mini-Wheat roof, the other lounging mischievously in a hot tub in the gingerbread house's front yard.

The Homesteader will get into the Merry Mainstreet spirit Saturday with food tasting in the test kitchen and with sale prices on seasonal items such as Christmas ceramics and holiday dinner meats, co-owner Steve Kennedy said.

Although his store usually is very busy at this point in the holiday shopping season, Steve Kennedy said he was optimistic Merry Mainstreet will give downtown retailers a boost.

Zirkel Trading owner Steve Hitchcock said his new downtown store will have "all hands on deck" Saturday in anticipation of high foot traffic from Merry Mainstreet.

"For us, it's more of a good opportunity to get people inside," Hitchcock said. Zirkel Trading, in the new Howelsen Place building, opened its doors two weeks ago.

Santa's lap will be open to local children - and his ears will be open to their Christmas lists - at the new Santa House on the Routt County Courthouse lawn. Colorado Mountain College students decorated the former lift shack, donated by Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Digital photos will be available for free online from Jack FM/KFMU, which will broadcast live from the courthouse lawn.

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