Patty and John Kerst have been named as the grand marshals for this year’s Winter Carnival.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Patty and John Kerst have been named as the grand marshals for this year’s Winter Carnival.

Patty and John Kerst recognized as grand marshals for Winter Carnival

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Check out a complete list of events for this year's Winter Carnival here.

— 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

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