Our View: Toasting 100 years of Winter Carnival
February 16, 2013
Sometimes it takes a special milestone to recognize the significance of things we otherwise might take for granted. That sentiment was hard to escape last weekend during the 100th anniversary of the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.
The uniqueness and community spirit that epitomizes Steamboat's annual midwinter celebration was particularly bright during this year's centennial celebration, and why not? For a city and county that embody a work-hard, play-hard lifestyle, there's not a better representation than Winter Carnival, which perfectly blends ranching and skiing, local and visitor, young and old.
We doubt Carl Howelsen foresaw a time when the carnival he started in 1914 in downtown Steamboat Springs would turn 100 years old, but part of what makes it special to this day is that his original vision remains so closely tied to the modern festivities. From ski jumping exhibitions to the role of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in the event's organization, Howelsen's indelible mark on our community lives on.
But Winter Carnival wouldn't remain the robust community celebration it is today without the incredible efforts of volunteers, sponsors, city government and the Winter Sports Club. Those do-gooders worked particularly hard this year, and their diligence was evident throughout the five days of carnival events. New additions like the Sorel Soiree and the Night Extravaganza afterparty provided more opportunities for revelry (and fundraising), and old standbys like the fireworks display over Howelsen Hill were super-sized thanks to the incredible generosity and pyrotechnic expertise of Tim and Scott Borden.
We're not sure we've ever seen so many folks wearing Winter Carnival buttons, which serve not only as event entry tickets for spectators and participants alike but also as a symbol of support for the community and the Winter Sports Club. The special $100 cast medallions were a particularly nice touch for those seeking a memorable keepsake from this year's 100th anniversary — and they were emblematic of the thought and effort put into this year's carnival.
Next year, we'll all come together again to celebrate the 101st Winter Carnival. It might not have the same historical significance as the 100th year, but it once again will be a chance for ranchers and resort workers, locals and visitors, young and old to converge on downtown Steamboat Springs and celebrate this special place we live in. Just like Carl Howelsen had in mind way back in 1914.