« Steamboat Springs Winter Events

Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival

Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival

DATE: Feb 3, 2016 - Feb 7, 2016

Celebrate 103 Years of Winter Tradition in Steamboat Springs

Mention a parade and fireworks and people say that's typical. Talk about adults on shovels being pulled down main street behind horses or skiers jumping through fiery hoops and people stop to listen. In Steamboat Springs we do things differently, and with the oldest, continuous Winter Carnival west of the Mississippi, this event is certainly no different.

About the Winter Carnival

Winter Carnival was started by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) as a way to help residents cope with cabin fever during the height of the Colorado winter season.

The event continues to this day as a way to celebrate winter; as a reason for neighbors to gather; and as an opportunity for everyone to experience a piece of Ski Town USA® history and tradition.

Share your experience, or follow along from home using #103WinterCarnival on Twitter and Instagram.

Winter Carnival Western Heritage

Diamond-Hitch-ParadeApproximately 150 individuals from the community volunteer their time, energy, and horses to participate in the street events. The horse events truly create the excitement surrounding the street events. The horse riders play a crucial role in making the street events a thrilling spectator event, and the efforts of all of the horse riders in preparing the horses for the events are greatly appreciated. In order to participate in the street events, the horses must be specially shod with cleats for traction in the snow. In addition, it takes an exceptional horse with lots of training to feel comfortable around crowds of people.

Special thanks to our long time Routt County families who ride in the street events each year: the Wilhelms with three generations of riders, the Yeagers with three generations of riders, the Uries, the Duncans, the Wheelers and the Garcias. We couldn't do this event without you!

Five Winter Carnival Fun Facts

  • In past years, the penalty for being caught without a carnival button was to push a peanut down Lincoln Ave with your nose.
  • The first jumping hill in Steamboat Springs was Woodchuck Hill which is currently where Colorado Mountain College stands.
  • The Steamboat Springs High School Band has marched down the street on skis playing for the spectators of the Winter Carnival Parade for 71 Years. It first started in 1935 by band conductor Jerry McGuare. The Steamboat Springs High School Band was the first band ever to march on skis.
  • How does all that snow get on Lincoln Avenue? Thanks to the City Public Works department who coordinates the stockpiling of snow and covers Lincoln Ave by 6am on Saturday and Sunday of event weekend each year. 400 plus tons of snow are used to cover the streets. And yes, they cover the streets and clean it up for each day of the street events. Special thanks to our Public Works Department!
  • In 2012 the Steamboat Winter Carnival was named a Top 10 Winter Carnival in the World by National Geographic

2016 schedule of events

Saturday and Sunday highlight the event with the Winter Carnival Street Events and the Night Show Extravaganza. The Street Events feature local Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club kids being pulled on skis behind horses right down main street in downtown Steamboat. A crowd favorite, the "Donkey Jump", sends kids soaring off a jump for up to 40, or even 50 feet.

Winter Carnival Rodeo ClownThe Street Events will also feature the Winter Carnival Rodeo Clown. JW Winklepleck, Rodeo Clown/Barrelman, will energize the crowd at the street events both Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the Night Extravaganza on Howelsen Hill is lit up with colors as Winter Sports Club athletes flip through the air off the jumps while others descend down the mountain leaving a red glow outlining perfect ski turns.

The last down the mountain is always the twinkle light wrapped Lighted Man with roman candles shooting out of his backpack, which makes for a spectacular opening act for the fireworks show to close out the night.

Wednesday, February 3
5:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies A celebration honoring the Winter Carnival Queen, her Court of Attendants, Little Princesses, and the Grand Marshals. Location: Olympian Hall, Howelsen Hill Lodge, Downtown off of 5th Street
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Speed and Flight Night Ski Jumping Learn to ski jump (on Alpine or Telemark equipment) under the lights on the historic ski jumps of Howelsen Hill. Register ($15) the night of the evnt from 5:15 - 5:45 p.m. in the Fireplace Room at Howelsen Hill Lodge. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
Thursday, February 4
5:00 p.m. Cross-Country Obstacle Race A fun and entertaining obstacle race for Nordic skiers and "wanna be" Nordic skiers. Spectators welcome. Pre registration not required, but a release form must be signed or already be on file with SSWSC in order to participate. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Parent-Child Duals Everyone is a winner in this family friendly competition. Come join or family fun by racing or bumping down the junior courses on Howelsen Hill Face. Go head to head against your child on either the GS style race course or dual mogul course. Pre registration is not required, but a release form must be signed or already be on file with SSWSC in order to participate. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Air Bag Jam Session Located under the lights of the Howelsen Hill. Watch athletes of the Winter Sports Club launch into the air onto a 15 foot tall and 50 foot wide air bag. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Powder Tools Mid-Winter Terrain Park Jam Session Located under the lights of the Howelsen Hill Terrain Park, this event is open to the public. Pre registration is required at 4:00 p.m. at the terrain park. A waiver must be signed or already be on file with the SSWSC in order to participate. Practice runs from 4:30 - 5:00 p.m., Jam Session from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Open Ski Jumping Ever wonder how Olympic Ski Jumpers can fly over 3 football fields? Now is your chance to come learn to fly in a safe and fun environment! The SSWSC welcomes you to try the bump jumps, 20m and 30m during our historic Winter Carnival. Alpine ski equipment recommended. Pre registration is not required, but a release form must be signed or already be on file with SSWSC in order to participate. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. S'more Family Fun Party Presented by F.M. Light & Sons, families can take part in the Winter Carnival Celebration! Throughout the evening's activities at Howelsen Hill, a family style chili and S'more party will be taking place in the big white tent on Vanatta Ballfield. Just call it S'more Family Fun! Ski, ride, and enjoy s'more fun with the entire family! Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under for tent entry, wear your Winter Carnival button! There will be a DJ and dancing! Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Winter Carnival Dual GS Ski Race & Party Come race head-to-head and show your GS technique on Howelsen Hill! Single elimination format. Registration in the Fireplace Room at Howelsen Hill beginning at 6:00 p.m., inspection at 6:30 p.m., racing starts at 7:00 p.m. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
Friday, February 5
10:00 a.m. Christy Sports Soda Pop Slalom This is a fun race and is open to any skier or snowboarder in the 5th grade or U10 program & below. Pre registration is required at the Winter Sports Club office January 28 and February 2 - 3 from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Location: Steamboat Ski & Resort, Mt. Werner, Stampede Run
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Ski Jumping Jamboree An enjoyable time for children to take to the Bump Jump and 20 meter jump at the Nordic jumping complex of Howelsen Hill for some “flying fun” on Alpine equipment. Registration deadline is Thursday February 4th at noon. Check-in from 12:30 - 1;15 p.m. on event day. Open to the public. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Community Tubing Party Come experience Howelsen Hill’s Tubing Hill. FREE fun for the whole family with Winter Carnival button. Tubes are provided and a waiver must be signed. Check in at the tubing hill. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Nordic Jumping Exhibition SSWSC Nordic Combined athletes jumping the Hill size 20, 30, 45, 75, and 100. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Amateur Ski Jumping Ski Jumping (on Alpine equipment) under the lights on the historic ski jumps of Howelsen Hill. Prizes, jumping and high-flying fun. Register ($25) the night of the event from 5:00 - 5:45 p.m. in the Fireplace Room at Howelsen Hill Lodge. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Wheels Bike Shop Dual Slalom Bicycle Race An exciting on-snow, mountain bike event down the face of Howelsen Hill. Event includes practice, qualifying and final competition rounds. Register the night of the event at 5:30 p.m. in the Fireplace Room at Howelsen Hill Lodge. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
7:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. The Soiree, Steamboat Style Celebrate the 103rd Winter Carnival in a true Winter Wonderland. An evening of libations, food, live music with Loose Change, a bonfire, and more.
Saturday, February 6
8:00 - 11:00 a.m. Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast Hosted annually by the Knights of Columbus, this function is the perfect way to fuel up for all of the day’s activities. In addition to a Winter Carnival button, donations are graciously accepted. Location: Holy Name Catholic Church, 524 Oak Street
8:00 a.m. 100-Meter Nordic Sprint The Steamboat Springs Nordic Council is looking for the fastest skate skiers in the Boat! They are hosting a 100-meter Nordic Sprint on Lincoln Avenue between 7th and 8th streets prior to the Street Events. The race will have a male and femaile divisions as well as 13 and over and 12 and under age categories. Anyone interested can register for this free event at the Steamboat Touring Center, 970-879-8180. Check in morning of the event at 7:30 a.m. Location: Downtown Steamboat, Lincoln Avenue
9:00 a.m. – noon Street Events A wildly popular and entertaining show featuring children on skis and snowboards being pulled behind horses along snow covered Lincoln Avenue. Races include street slalom, ski joring, ring and spear, donkey jump and the famous adult shovel race. The horse events are for children ages 6-14. Non-horse events for ages 1-14. Pre registration required at WinterCarnivalSteamboat.com beginning January 29th at 10:00 a.m. Location: Downtown Steamboat, Lincoln Avenue
1:00 p.m. - Pro Alpine Ski Jumping Qualifications A must-see ski jumping event with participants launching off of the HS127 on alpine skis and boots, rather than the usual ski jumping equipment. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
6:15 - 6:45 p.m. SSWSC Athlete Exhibition SSWSC athletes demonstrate their skills. Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
7:00 p.m. Night Extravaganza A must-see evening of entertainment at historic Howelsen Hill! This community favorite draws thousands of spectators for an exciting display of "Warmth of Winter". The evening starts with a winter sports exhibition highlighting athletes showing their prowess in the dark, lit by flares and LED lights! Known across the country, the Lighted Man wil arc down Howelsen Hill shooting fireworks from his pyrotechnic suit, and Nordic and alpine jumpers will soar through a fiery hoop off of the Nordic jumps! End the night with a stunning fireworks show that will feature one of the largest fireworks in the country! Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street
Sunday, February 7
9:00 - Noon Street Events A wildly popular and entertaining show featuring children on skis and snowboards being pulled behind horses along snow covered Lincoln Avenue. Races include street slalom, ski joring, ring and spear, donkey jump and the famous adult shovel race. The horse events are for children ages 6-14. Non-horse events for ages 1-14. Pre registration is required at WinterCarnivalSteamboat.com beginning January 29th at 10:00 a.m. Location: Downtown Steamboat, Lincoln Avenue
Approximately 11:30 a.m. after Street Events - Diamond Hitch Parade The diamond hitch consists of at least four skiers. The skiers hold on to points of a rope tied in the shape of one or more diamonds. Animals, people or vehicles may pull the skiers down the snow-filled street. Anyone is welcome to enter the parade. Pre registration is required, deadline is January 29th at 6:00 p.m. Location: Downtown Steamboat, Lincoln Avenue
1:00 p.m. Pro Alpine Ski Jumping Finals This is a must-see ski jumping event with participants launching off of the HS127 “Big Hill” on alpine skis and boots, rather than the usual ski jumping equipment. Watch as world records get broken! Location: Howelsen Hill, Downtown off of 5th Street

» Click here for a full schedule of Steamboat Winter Events

You have 0 units on your compare list!
SEARCH One Property SEARCH All Properties
Find your perfect vacation rental!



Property Features




Unit Features