Button celebrates Howelsen

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Courtesy photo

2009 Winter Carnival button

— Looking back on past Winter Carnivals, the selection of a theme is often a sign of the times.

Olympic years 1960 and 1968 had themes of "Olympic Preview" and "From Steamboat to the Olympics," respectively. In 1975, Winter Carnival celebrated "Steamboat Springs' First 100 Years." And in 1990, carnival host the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club rang in "The Gay 90s."

The 96th Winter Carnival in 2009 will be no exception, with a theme that SSWSC Special Events Director Caroline Bohlmann said is a celebration of what residents have to be thankful for in the midst of a national recession. The theme is "Grateful for Howelsen Hill."

One of the most visible places the theme will be celebrated is on this year's Winter Carnival button, which is graced by an old, black-and-white photo of the historic Howelsen Hill Tow House obtained from the Tread of Pioneers Museum. This is the first year since 1967 the button design wasn't chosen through a contest among Steamboat Springs High School students.

"What we did was we just went with something that represented Howelsen Hill," Bohlmann said. "It's offered an opportunity to rethink it."

Seven thousand buttons will be sold throughout the community for $7 each. The button serves as an all-purpose ticket to the carnival's five days of events. Proceeds from the button sales benefit SSWSC and its athletes.

As grand marshal of the 96th Winter Carnival, Leif Hovelsen, son of Howelsen Hill namesake Carl Howelsen, will have ample opportunity to see his father's legacy celebrated on the shirts of carnival-goers this year.

"It worked out perfectly," Bohlmann said.

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