Join us February 6th - 10th to celebrate 100 years of winter tradition at the Steamboat Springs 100th Winter Carnival.

Not a Typical Carnival Locals have been known to name their newborn “Winter,” often partake in snow dances, and a Powder Clause is typical employee handbook material. We love winter. This love is never more evident than during Winter Carnival, an event in its 100th year taking place February 6 - 10, 2013.

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.


Excitement is found everywhere during the event. Long standing traditions of favorite spots to watch the torchlight parade, bellies full of spicy huevos rancheros from the Shack Café before catching the ski joring, and bragging rights for distance traveled in the Donkey Jump add to the countless Winter Carnival memories and bring people back year after year. Kiddos can participate in the three-legged race and the dad dash- so bring your sleds! Even man’s best friend can join the action in the highly entertaining dog dash on Lincoln Avenue.

The 107-year-old F.M. Light & Sons western store runs deep in tradition and their doors on Lincoln Avenue swing open nonstop during Winter Carnival. Fifth generation owner Lindsay (Lockhart) Dillenbeck said her grandmother was in the high school band when they took the act to skis. “My grandmother remembers the band director telling them all to bring their skis to practice the next day, and that’s how the high school ski band was formed,” said Dillenbeck.

Winter Carnival Band on Skis

View the video below for an insider peek into the hertiage of the Winter Carnival and it's founder, and how the tradition is carried on today.

Night Extravaganza

A major highlight of the Winter Carnival festivities is the Saturday Night Extravaganza. Howelsen Hill is lit up with colors as Winter Sports Club athletes flip through the air off the jumps through 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. His descent means the fireworks show is moments away, triggering a sense of urgency to stake out the best view spot: whether up high on a pile of packed snow or from inside a restaurant along the Yampa with a hot drink in hand.