Museum to host historic film screenings of Winter Carnival | SteamboatToday.com

Museum to host historic film screenings of Winter Carnival

Melinda Dudley

Crowds line Lincoln Avenue during the parade from the 1966 Winter Carnival. The Tread of Pioneers Museum will show historic Winter Carnival footage at noon and 5:30 p.m. today at Centennial Hall.

Steamboat Springs — With Winter Carnival's opening ceremonies less than a week away, the Tread of Pioneers Museum is hosting historic film screenings today that make clear how the annual tradition has evolved throughout the decades. — With Winter Carnival's opening ceremonies less than a week away, the Tread of Pioneers Museum is hosting historic film screenings today that make clear how the annual tradition has evolved throughout the decades.

— With Winter Carnival’s opening ceremonies less than a week away, the Tread of Pioneers Museum is hosting historic film screenings today that make clear how the annual tradition has evolved throughout the decades.

The 45-minute digitized compilation includes early footage of Winter Carnival street events and Howelsen Hill ski jumping dating back to the 1920s.

“This is our first year recently to try to kick off Winter Carnival this way,” said Candice Lombardo, the museum’s executive director. “We’re excited to show some of the history of the carnival through this recently digitized film.”

The earliest footage comes from recently discovered home videos shot on 9.5 mm film by Eleanor Bliss, said local videographer Frank “Smokey” Vandergrift.

“It was really quite an adventure to discover this stuff, and find out who shot it,” Vandergrift said. “What you’re going to see is basically what Winter Carnival would’ve looked like when (Carl) Howelsen was here.”

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Viewers also will see clips from “Enchantment in the Rockies,” a 1940s-era promotional film made by the local chamber of commerce, as well as portions of “Stormy,” a film recorded and produced by Steamboat Ski Area founder Jim Temple from 1956 to 1962.

Temple was just beginning to work toward consolidating the ranches between Priest Creek and Fish Creek to form the ski area at the time the footage was shot, Vandergrift said.

The event also will show the 1958 productions “Education in Action,” a PBS feature on Steamboat’s ski programs for children and Winter Carnival, and “Ski Town USA!!,” a Universal Studios short that was shown in movie theaters before feature films along with newsreels.

Vandergrift’s 1989 production “The Treacherous and Speedy Skee” includes more historic Winter Carnival footage and interviews with veteran competitors Vernon Summer and Loris Werner.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203 or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com