Steamboat Springs While the East Coast was digging out from a massive blizzard Saturday, the Steamboat Springs Public Works Department was trucking in snow to pack down on Lincoln Avenue for the Winter Carnival street events.
By 10 a.m., the sidewalks on either side of Steamboat's Main Street were packed with spectators taking in the performances by young athletes who were pulled down the street by horses for the competitions. Good moods were accompanied by cloudy skies, light snow and comfortable temperatures near 30 degrees.
“We’ve been out here when it’s 20 below, and we’ve been out here when it’s raining,” Dennis Lodwick said. “This is perfect.”
Lodwick, the father of Steamboat Nordic combined Olympian Todd Lodwick, was waiting at the finish line for his 7-year-old granddaughter, Charley Lodwick, to compete in the donkey jump. During the competition, skiers are pulled by horses and launched into the air after hitting a ramp. The skier who goes the farthest wins.
Dennis Lodwick, who moved to Routt County when he was 11, said he held the donkey jump record for a couple of years with a distance of 54 feet. Today, his son Scott Lodwick claims to hold the record with a distance of 68 feet.
It probably will be a couple of years before Charley has a chance to take the record from her uncle, but her confidence helped pull her through to a clean landing Saturday.
“I thought I was going to crash, but I knew I could do it because my dad is an Olympian,” she said.
Logan Spiegel ended up winning the donkey jump with a distance of 48 feet, 8 inches.
Winning was not the goal for many of the street event competitors.
“I didn’t think I was going to win,” said Georgia resident Jeff Hazard, who participated in the adult-only shovel race event and waved his hand above his head while being pulled down Lincoln Avenue. “I was going for style.”
That must have been what 9-year-old Ellie Blair was going for, too, as she was pulled on skis in the ring and box event wearing a pink tutu and cape.
Ryan Kitchen, 9, also was not concerned with winning the ring and box event. He found himself being pulled by a fast horse. He fell, and his ski came off.
“I suck at it, and I love it,” Ryan said. “All I wanted it to be was memorable, and it was.”
The donkey jump and shovel race events will be held again Sunday morning during the street events that start at 9 a.m. The other events are the ring and spear at 9 a.m., obstacle courses starting at 9:30 a.m., street slalom at 10 am., 25-yard dog dash at 10:20 a.m. and the 25-yard dad dash at 10:25 a.m. The donkey jump is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., and the shovel race starts at 11 a.m. The Diamond Hitch Parade is at 11:30 a.m.