It’s Winter Carnival week: The absolute best week of the winter. Yeah, we have powder days, free concerts, balloon glows and powder on top of more powder. That’s all good, but the real time to be in Steamboat is this week.

This is the week where locals of all ages celebrate a 105-year-old tradition of getting outside, catching up with old and new friends, and ultimately having way too much fun. The activities are endless, including Soda Pop Slalom to the Shovel Race down the middle of Lincoln Avenue. What’s a shovel race, you ask? All you need is a horse, a cowboy or cowgirl, a rope, a shovel, some snow and one person crazy enough to see how fast they can go.

This Saturday night is the Night Extravaganza that puts the exclamation point on the week. It’s when our future Olympians as young as 4 years old ski down Howelsen Hill, many of them holding flaming torches. This is also the night when the Lighted Man makes an appearance and the Steamboat ski patrol team hurls themselves off the 90-meter jump through the ring of fire. If none of this makes sense or sounds too good to be true, you need to come see it for yourself.

If you live close by, grab some friends or your family and head our way. You can be here in time for Friday night skiing. A bonus is a storm rolling through Friday night and Saturday that’s forecast to bring fresh snow. If you’re farther away, give us a call and book the trip for next year’s 106th annual Winter Carnival.

Enjoy your weekend and hope to see all of you Saturday night as the Lighted Man makes his way down the face of Howelsen Hill.

Garett Mariano, Alpine skier

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