Steamboat Signature Events
● By Dan Greeson
Photo by Noah Wetzel.
Thursday-Sunday, June 16-19
Over 450 Mustang owners converge in Steamboat for the ultimate car-lover’s Father’s Day weekend. Highlights include scenic mountain drives, timed races and a Show n’ Shine event on Lincoln Avenue. Ford Mustang drivers can circumnavigate the autocross track in the Meadows Parking Lot. For the first time ever, children can compete in a remote-control car autocross event at the Steamboat Tennis Center. Hard, compound tires are requested to protect the courts’ surfaces. Event requires registration with participant’s age, car type and skill level to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cowboy Roundup Days and July Fourth Parade
Friday-Monday, July 1-4
The best way to experience the spirit of Steamboat’s hometown feel is to join Independence Day celebrations. Start the day with a pancake breakfast, then dash downtown for a seat on Lincoln Avenue to watch the parade. Expect to see everything from cowboys and longhorns to hip-hop dancers and pioneer wagons. Mosey over to Howelsen Hill, where Olympians past, present and future defy gravity in a ski jumping contest. Stay for beer and brats or soak up the atmosphere across town by eating ice cream at the Pioneer Days Block Party and listening to the brass brand. Spend the evening at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena and share a local passion for Western heritage. Wrap up celebrations with fireworks at Howelsen Hill.
Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park
Saturday-Sunday, July 9-10
Watch the blue sky become a mass of color as hot air balloons ascend over the Yampa Valley during the early hours of the Balloon Rodeo. Contestants take part in a variety of elevated events including the challenge of dipping into Bald Eagle Lake. In the evening, head to the base of the ski area with camera in hand for the spectacular balloon glow.
During the day, shop and take in local performances at Art in the Park across the street from Bud Werner Memorial Library. Over 150 artisans set up shop in a tented village along the river’s edge. Come hungry and savor delights from an eclectic range of food and beverage purveyors.
All Arts Festival
Monday-Sunday, Aug. 15-21
Join artists from across the country in embracing a multi-faceted celebration of the arts. Attend live theater shows, pick up tips at photography or painting workshops and attend artist talks and demonstrations. Kids can sign up for creative camps offered by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. Foodies can savor local flavors and homegrown suds at a multitude of venues taking part in the eighth annual celebration of Steamboat’s cultural scene.
Wild West Air Fest
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 3-4
In Steamboat, the action usually takes place with both feet firmly planted to the ground, but on Labor Day Weekend, we look to the skies to witness two days of aerobatic wizardry. Hear the roar of a war bird flying overhead and watch in awe as the Renegades complete dazzling formations high above the valley. Take a Wild West plane ride in a T-6 War Bird or experience a scenic helicopter ride. Children flock to Wings over the Rockies Kidspace, where they can build their own aircraft or play in the adventure zone. Hear tales of derring-do from retired and serving American Air Force pilots at a host of talks held throughout the weekend.
Labor Day celebrations continue downtown with the Chili Challenge cook-off and biannual sidewalk sales.
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 16-17
Lederhosen are optional, but beer sampling is recommended. Head downtown on Friday evening to tour and taste fall flavors at local bars and restaurants. The main event kicks off on Saturday at the mountain village by the base of Steamboat Ski Area with the I Love Beef Cook-Off featuring local chefs. Over 40 Colorado brewers converge in the beer garden by Burgess Creek, each offering two types of brew. Listen to live music by the creek and vote on your favorite new flavors.