The best Steamboat event of the year.

BlogWinter Carnival

10 Reasons You Can’t Miss Winter Carnival:

Here at The Porches, there’s no doubt the Steamboat Winter Carnival is one of our favorite events of the year. A bona fide celebration of the town’s skiing and ranching histories where horses gallop down a snow-covered Lincoln Avenue towing skiers behind, we promise you: there’s nothing else quite like it. With The Porches own concierge and personal shuttle service, let us (literally) take you there!


#1) Because there’s nothing else quite like it.

Steeped in tradition, what makes the Steamboat Winter Carnival event unique is Steamboat’s one-and-only mix of ranching and skiing histories that literally come together on the streets for this action-packed 5-day affair. That’s only one of the reasons the Steamboat Winter Carnival was named one of the Top Ten Winter Carnivals in the world by National Geographic magazine. The Porches is happy to help our guests and residents celebrate Winter Carnival with shuttle service to and from the event. To arrange transportation, please contact our Concierge.

Did you know, The Porches is rated # 1 out of 80 Specialty Lodging locations in Steamboat on TripAdvisor?


#2) Because horses and skiers and shovels? Oh, my.

By far the most unique street events you’ll ever witness are the ones involving snow and horses. Lincoln Avenue is closed to traffic and covered in snow for ski joring: horses galloping down main street towing skiers. You won’t believe your eyes when you see little kids being catapulted down main street by massive horses, their hooves thundering though the snow. There’s also Shovel Racing (horses pulling people riding snow shovels), Street Slalom (horses towing skiers who have to navigate through cones), Donkey Jump (horses pulling skiers off jumps), the Ring and Steer (a lasso throwing competition while being pulled by a horse) and the Ring and Spear (a ring collecting competition while being pulled by skis on a horse. When you bring ranchers and skiers together for over 100 years, that’s what happens.


#3) Because who doesn’t love a good fireworks display?

Forget about the Fourth of July: Steamboat’s best fireworks show is in the middle of winter, when the bright bursts of color explode over Howelsen Hill, illuminating the snow covered slopes. There’s no better way to celebrate the mountain lifestyle than to hear that celebratory sound and to see the mountains lit up by colors falling from the sky—that’s the epitome of Ski Town USA.


#4) Because other than fireworks, what’s better than a parade?

And not just any parade. The diamond hitch consists of at least four skiers that hold on to points of a rope tied in the shape of one or more diamonds. Then animals, people or vehicles pull the skiers down the snow-filled streets. Anyone is welcome to enter the parade.  Pre-registration required, deadline is February 3rd at 6pm.  Register online at


#5) Because other than a parade, what’s better than the Lighted Man?

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.


#6) Because everyone loves dogs and dads.

This one was made for the cameras: Children 5 years old and younger compete against one another while being pulled in a sled or toboggan by the family dog. Following the dog competition will be the Dad Dash with Dad on all fours pulling the child. First one over the finish line wins. Let us ask you this, Mom, what could be better than watching Dad pull his weight with the kids for once?


#7) Because you’ve always wanted to try ski jumping.

The ski jumps at Howelsen Hill, smack dab in the middle of downtown Steamboat, are the stuff of legends, producing more Olympians than any other town in the U.S. What could be better than learning to ski jump under the lights at night on your own alpine or telemark equipment? (We know you’ve always wanted to!) This kickoff event follows the opening ceremonies on Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. See how the pros do it on Friday, February 10 from 4-6 p.m. when members of the Steamboat Winter Sports Club ski jumping team launch the 20, 30, 45,75 and 100-meter jumps.


8) Because the snow sculpture display puts the snowman to shame.

Hand carved snow sculptures will be on display throughout the week, culminating in a judged contest. Judging will take place from 3-5pm on February 10th, and winners will be highlighted with ribbons and announced at Street Events on February 11th and 12th and at the Night Extravaganza on February 11th. Sculptures will be built February 9th-10th in three categories; student, professional, and individual/group/business.  Applications can be found at For more info, contact the Steamboat Springs Arts Council at (970) 879-9008.


9) Because you want to be part of the Steamboat family.

There aren’t many events out there, especially in ski towns, that are fun for everyone in the family. And there aren’t many ski towns out there that are as family-friendly as Steamboat. People always talk about how Steamboat is a “real town” and this is why: instead of catering to tourists, we focus on family and community. If ever there was a way to celebrate the Steamboat spirit, it’s with this century-old event. Remember: you can avoid all the traffic and craziness with The Porches’ concierge, offering personal shuttle service. We’re happy to drop you off in and pick you up from all the action!


10) Because it’s for a good cause—and the skiing is free!

All the proceeds from the purchase of your $10 button for entry to all events goes to the Steamboat Winter Sports Club and you get to ski at Howelsen Hill during the entire event—for free! As a member of The Porches community, you are entitled to this exclusive offer: purchase this year’s Steamboat Winter Sports Club poster by celebrated local artist and Steamboat native, Chula Beauregard. All proceeds go to SSWC. Contact Beth for more information.


For more information on Steamboat Winter Carnival schedule and events go to