Check out a complete list of events for this year's Winter Carnival here.
Steamboat Springs During their first Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs, Patty and John Kerst marched in the Diamond Hitch Parade dressed as the king and queen of hearts. The next year in 1990, they were Minnie and Mickey Mouse.
“That was the best one,” recalled Patty Kerst. “Very appropriate.”
The Kersts have been supporters of Winter Carnival and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club since moving to the Yampa Valley in 1988. Club Executive Director Rick DeVos recently told John Kerst that he and his wife would be honored as the grand marshals for this year’s event.
“He said, ‘John, you’ve been a friend of the Winter Sports Club for years,’” John Kerst said. “Patty and I are humbled, and we’re honored.”
John Kerst has worked in banking for 43 years and volunteered his time to help establish the Winter Sports Club’s foundation. He also was instrumental in helping raise money for the first plastic ski jump built at Howelsen Hill.
From 2000 to early 2009, John Kerst was the president at Yampa Valley Bank, which is owned by local shareholders. Today, his job is to attract more business to the bank.
His bank has been a primary sponsor of Winter Carnival since its inception.
John Kerst is also a friend of the Steamboat community. He is a board member for Ski Town USA Rotary and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
John and Patty Kerst are Colorado natives and have been married 32 years.
“The gift she gives me is she lets me do all these community things,” John Kerst said. “Because of that, we are one.”
The Kersts join a select group of people who have been recognized as Winter Carnival grand marshals.
“It’s humbling when you look at the list of people because there are so many that have done so much,” John Kerst said.
The marshals will be at the opening ceremonies Feb. 2, will be honored during the Night Extravaganza on Feb. 5 and will ride in the parade Feb. 6.
Previous grand marshals
1977: Hazie Werner and Larry Kaminski
1978: Marjorie and Clarence Wheeler
1979: Florence Brown and Chip Ravenscroft
1980: Ann Rich and Glen Paulk
1981: Ester DelliQuadri and John Fetcher
1982: Eleanor Bliss and Claudius Banks
1983: Dottie Schnackenberg and Del Scott
1984: Skeeter Werner Walker and Marv Crawford
1985: Marie and Bill Bowes
1986: Frances and Bob Wither
1987: Maurine and Ray Barrows
1988: Doris Gooding and Vernon Summer
1989: Gordy and Jean Wren
1990: Don Kinney
1991: Barbi and Pete Wither
1992: Paul Smith and Patsy Scherar
1993: Jim and Anne Severson
1994: Sven and Birthe Wiik
1995: Dr. Ron and Mrs. Alice Lewis
1996: Rod and Vicky Hanna
1997: Nick and Deb Rose
1998: Gary Mielke
1999: Park and Lisa Smalley
2000: Loris and Deb Werner
2001: Lonny and Pam Vanatta
2002: Ray Heid and Corkey Heid
2003: Jim “Moose” Barrows
2004: Ruth and Pat McClelland
2005: Jim and Audry Temple
2006: Annabeth Light and Lloyd Lockhart
2007: Billy Kidd
2008: Rick Wilhelm, Kim Gittleson, Lynn Wilhelm, Chrissy Wilhelm and Heather Wilhelm
2009: Leif Hovelsen
2010: Nancy and Jim Spillane and Jeanne and Dennis Lodwick
Sources: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Steamboat Pilot & Today archives