Steamboat Springs Molly Newman has been skiing with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club since she was 2 years old.
A Steamboat Springs native, Newman has been involved with the club’s Nordic skiing program since she was in third grade and said she was honored to be queen of the 97th annual Winter Carnival.
“It’s a big deal being involved. Winter Carnival has been a part of my life — I grew up in Steamboat, and I just feel honored to have the opportunity,” Newman said.
A senior at The Lowell Whiteman School who plans to continue skiing at a yet-to-be-determined, snow-state school next year, Newman said she has fond memories of dressing up in old snow clothes with teammates and walking to the Winter Carnival Night Extravaganza at Howelsen Hill each year.
The “family feeling” of Winter Sports Club keeps her participating from year to year, Newman said.
“I just feel very welcome all the time by the coaches and everyone who works there,” she said.
Newman and her attendants, Ciar Colgan and Haley Piske, will be recognized with this year’s Winter Carnival little princesses and grand marshals at the festival’s opening ceremonies Feb. 3 in Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill Lodge.
To qualify as Winter Carnival queen, high school girls must meet several criteria. The list of requirements includes five years of participation in a full-time competitive program at SSWSC; enrollment as a high school senior in a public or private school in Routt County; representing SSWSC “in a positive manner reflecting the attributes of hard work, commitment to school and sport, superior sportsmanship and reputable moral conduct”; an academic grade point average of at least 3.5; and a recommendation from a program director or coach.
Candidates for Winter Carnival attendant are judged by the same criteria, but they must be in 10th or 11th grade. The names of every girl who meets all the criteria are placed in a queen or attendant hat, and the girls honored with each title are selected from there.
Eight Winter Carnival princesses will be recognized with the rest of the festival royalty Feb. 3. The Little Toots Princess Program started in 1957 and is open to girls who are at least 5 years old but are not yet in the first grade and who are in their second year of one of many Winter Sports Club programs.
This year’s princesses are Tess Arnone, Ellie Blair, Ellie Brown, Mia McNamara, Margaret Redfern, Sophie Vertress, Catcher Weynand and Tinsley Wilkinson.