As a community-based organization, the SSWSC is committed to being a supportive partner in Steamboat Springs and Routt County. In addition to supporting 1 in 3 kids in Steamboat Schools through our programming, we are also committed to helping our community thrive.
This year’s 107th Winter Carnival went off with a bang, literally. Tim Borden’s second, and successful, attempt at the world’s largest firework helped to bring over 9,000 spectators to what has been listed as one of the Top Ten Winter Carnivals in the world by National Geographic. Borden’s incredible 62” hand-made mortar, weighing more than a ton, traveled approximately one mile up before exploding into a blinding light that could be seen across the county, truly embodying this year’s theme of ‘Light Up the Sky’. Festivities kept spectators entertained all week with skijoring down the main street, the famous Lighted Man in his pyrotechnic suit shooting fireworks from his body, athletes jumping through the fiery hoop, and activities and races that all ages could participate in, such as the S’more Family Fun night and parent-child duals. This year, over 300 young skiers and riders battled one of the largest snowstorms of the year and an uphill hike due to chairlift and gondola closures to participate in the Soda Pop Slalom. Father-daughter duo Paul and Mären Berge were recognized as the Grand Marshals and SSHS senior Annika Belshaw was crowned Winter Carnival queen. Belshaw was unable to attend, as she stayed to compete in Europe after jumping in the Youth Olympic Games with Junior Winter Carnival Attendant Tess Arnone, who was able to make it home just in time for winter Carnival. Freestyle athlete Riley Hodges was honored as the Sophomore Attendant.
For over a century the SSWSC has been privileged to produce the Winter Carnival to celebrate our history and heritage in this idyllic mountain town with the largesse of a world-class festival.
Ski Swap and Bike Swap
The annual Ski and Bike Swaps are both hosted at Howelsen Hill Lodge by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. The goal of these events is to provide the community with a cost-effective way to buy and sell all of the gear that enables us to live up to our “Ski Town” and “Bike Town” USA reputation. Ski Swap is a family friendly event where individuals sell and buy used items including skis, snowboards, tele and cross country gear, jackets, pants, goggles, gloves, boots, and more. Similarly, Bike Swap offers locals the opportunity to buy, sell, or swap their summer biking gear.
2019 was the 6th year of SSWSC helping to host the Annual Smartwool Sale, in which Smartwool generously discounts sample goods for the locals of Steamboat. SSWSC employees and volunteers spend 3 days organizing, pricing, and running the sale, in partnership with Smartwool employees. Smartwool donates a portion of proceeds to meet their annual commitment as a Gold Support Partner with the SSWSC.
Steamboat Howler Alpine Slide
The Howler Alpine Slide enjoyed its 18th year of operating at historic Howelsen Hill last summer. With a 2400 foot track that winds down the hillside and a chairlift ride affording stunning downtown views, the Howler Alpine Slide is a venture that supplements the programming at the SSWSC and provides locals and tourists a unique Steamboat activity. Last summer, the Howler Alpine Slide contributed $50,000 to SSWSC athletic programs, and provided jobs to 40 local kids. The SSWSC is proud to run a business that is
“for kids” and assists kids with work and programming needs.
Embracing the Community at Athletic Events
In Steamboat, athletic competitions become community events. The Slash & Burn Banked Slalom is open to all and has become a community-wide snowboarding celebration, with over 400 competing and many more there for the show. The Murphy Roberts Holiday Classic and World Pro Ski Tour events feature finish area festivities and a welcoming atmosphere that packs Howelsen Hill with fans and visitors alike. Firepits, warm chili and hot cocoa greet families and spectators at the Hitchen’s Brothers Wednesday Night Jump Series. From all of the community events, the summer Jumpin’ and Jammin’ event truly stands out. Held on the 4th of July on the plastic 75 meter jump, the jump flats are packed with food vendors, situated with hay bales, shade tents, water misters and a hospitality station by SSWSC support partner UCHealth to accommodate the large crowd of over 1,000 spectators. The community is encouraged to experience what jumping is like on our roller jump with the support of SSWSC coaches. Celebrating our freedom while watching dazzling jumps of 250 feet has become a tradition for the community and a showcase for the athletes and programs of the SSWSC.