36th Community Holiday Party will take place this weekend | SteamboatToday.com

36th Community Holiday Party will take place this weekend

Last year at the Community Holiday Party people of all ages gathered to take part in the free event that features tubing, hot cocoa, cookies, a visit from Santa and his elves and holiday cheer. The event is hosted by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs in cooperation with the city of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

— Growing up, David Lamb recalls sitting on Santa's lap wishing for the newest toy of the season, eating cookies, sipping hot cocoa and, most vividly, tubing with his family at Howelsen Hill.

Known as the Community Holiday Party, the free event is meant to give back to the community as a thank you with a night of fun holiday cheer for all ages.

On Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m., there will be caroling, Santa's Workshop with his elves, free hot chocolate, cookies and more. But what many look forward to is tubing down the hill, laughing all the way down. Lamb advises attendees to bring their own tubes to ensure more runs down the hill.

"What we have is one of Steamboat's longest-standing traditions, and it's gotten back to what has been in place since I was born," said Lamb, who is part of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs that hosts the event in cooperation with the city of Steamboat and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. "It really sets the mood for the next couple weeks leading into Christmas. We've fought to really keep that theme alive."

The event will have a few new additions this year. For the younger kids, there will be an additional tubing area with smaller lanes, overseen by the local hockey team. There even will be a "Golden Tube Raffle."

At Santa's workshop in Olympian Hall, a variety of activities will be available for all to enjoy, said Rotary committee chair for the event Eric Rabesa. Kids from Interact at the local high school and kids from the middle school will help with the handmade ornaments station. Santa also will be present, awaiting the anxious youngsters hoping to get their request to him in time.

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"We believe that this town is special because so many people actively give their time, money and effort throughout the year," Lamb said. "It comes down to giving the opportunity to the kids to keep the magic of Christmas alive."

The community party has gone on for about 36 years now. During the financial crisis, Rotary stepped in to provide a helping hand to the city and Winter Sports Club to keep the tradition alive.

"It's created many memories for kids over the years," said Sarah Floyd, athletic director for the Winter Sports Club. "It's a wonderful thing and brings the community to Howelsen Hill, a cornerstone of our community. Allowing people to come enjoy and celebrate this historical area."

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1