We certainly will have lots to celebrate. Fifty years ago on January 12, the Mt Werner ski area officially opened taking in just over $13 on the first day with a temperature of –25 degrees F. Fast forward half a century, winter sports fans have 2,965 acres of terrain to explore and an uphill lift capacity of 41,465 folks per hour. Not bad for an old time ranching town! To commemorate how far we’ve come, a spectacular ice castle will be dominating the base area providing a magical backdrop to this years’ party atmosphere. During the month of January a smorgasbord of events awaits, from fireworks and free concerts to the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill grand finale. With its turquoise glow, turrets and throne, the ice castle will remain until April (weather permitting), making the perfect backdrop for a souvenir snap or two.
The mountain is not the only local star with a birthday. Director of skiing and Olympic Silver Medallist Billy Kidd will be 70 on April 13. A legend in the Valley, it is sure to be a day of additional fun on the hill. Steamboat’s unique winter sports club boasts 79 Olympians to date. With so many top class athletes in town, it is not hard to source some expert tips on the mountain. Keep an eye out for clinics and classes run by some of the nations champions through www.steamboat.com
Across town, one hundred years ago in February the first winter carnival was held. Created to alleviate cabin fever during the long Colorado winter, Steamboat’s much loved tradition was voted in National Geographic’s top 10 winter carnivals in the world. Not bad for a population of 12,356 folk. From February 6 –10 2013, Howelson Hill will come alive with fireworks, competitions and a lighted man led torchlight parade. Main street, Lincoln Avenue will play host to contests and parades from crazy to the ridiculous including Soda Pop Slaloms and the High School Band on skis.
It’s not just skiers who are celebrating this winter. Our incredible Strings in the Mountains Music festival is 25 years old. From contemporary to classic, over 70 concerts take place a year in the newly built strings “tent”. If you’re joining us for Christmas, then take a peek on www.stringsmusicfestival.com and pick up tickets for Michael Kaeshammer or Peter and the Wolf Puppet production.
As 2013 continues we will have even more to celebrate, but for now keep an eye on that snowfall and make sure to pack your party hat for this years Steamboat vacation.