● By Christina Freeman
Balloonists get an aerial view of golfers at Catamount Ranch and Club. Photo by Noah Wetzel.
“Come for the winter but stay for the summer” is a Steamboat Springs mantra. Bluebird days and long summer nights are to be celebrated, and Steamboat knows how to party, all season long.
34th Steamboat Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K
Sunday, June 7
One of the Top 10 Destination Marathons in North America, runners feast their eyes on evolving vistas from mountain peaks to rolling pastures. The full marathon starts at 8,128 feet amid the scenic backdrop of Hahn's Peak, leaving from Steamboat Lake. The half marathon begins midway, with the 10K covering Strawberry Park and Old Town Steamboat.
27th Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup
Thursday-Sunday, June 18-21
Hear the roar of 200 engines as Ford Mustang drivers circumnavigate the autocross track in the Meadows parking lot. Join 450 Mustang owners for a series of weekend happenings including scenic mountain drives, timed races and a Show n' Shine display on Lincoln Avenue. Coinciding with Father's Day, scheduled events are open to the public.
Cowboy Roundup Days and July Fourth Parade
Thursday-Sunday, July 2-5
For a small town, Steamboat turns out big-time for Independence Day festivities. Rise and shine with a pancake breakfast, then snag a seat for the hometown parade. (Tip: curbside seats go early.) Head over to Howelsen Hill for the Jumpin Jammin ski jumping competition featuring past, present and future Olympians. Cool off with ice cream and strawberries at the Pioneer Days Block Party while listening to the brass band. Discover the heart of Steamboat's Western heritage at the Ranch Rodeo, followed by an evening at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo and one of the largest fireworks displays in Colorado.
Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park
Saturday-Sunday, July 11-12
Watch the dawn break beneath a sky filled with a kaleidoscope of color as hot air balloons ascend in the early hours floating over the valley. Arrive sharply as they inflate and try your luck earning a crewing spot. Witness a balloon rodeo as crews challenge each other to contests such as dipping into Bald Eagle Lake, south of town. Spend the rest of the day at Art in the Park, enjoying live music, local performances and eclectic foods as you shop. Meander through the tented village by the Depot, viewing and buying works from the 150 artisans. Looking for a little more fast-paced action? Head for the fields by the tennis bubble and witness the Cowpie Classic. This rugby tournament attracts players and spectators from Colorado and neighboring states.
All Arts Festival
Tuesday-Sunday, Aug. 11-16
A fusion of Steamboat's eclectic arts scene blends music, performing and visual arts with culinary talents. Take in an Emerald City Opera performance or a Piknik Theatre production. Spend an afternoon at the Yampa Art Stroll, sit in on a free opera class, then spend the evening enjoying acclaimed musicians at Strings Music Festival.
USA Pro Challenge
Friday-Tuesday, Aug. 14-18
Steamboat Springs welcomes top cyclists from across the world as they race through nine host cities in the Rocky Mountains. For the first time in its history, the race kicks off in Steamboat. A weekend full of festivities precedes the circuit race on Monday, and Tuesday's start of the first stage race takes riders from Steamboat to Arapahoe Basin.
Wild West Air Fest
Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 5-6
Big skies make the perfect backdrop for aerobatic displays of daredevil stunts and war aircraft flyovers during Labor Day weekend. Check out an aviator-led presentation, clamber inside a cockpit, or take to the skies in a helicopter. Kids love the Rockies Kidspace and vendors keep collectors entertained.
Seventh Annual Steamboat Oktoberwest
Grab the lederhosen and beer stein to celebrate Steamboat’s personal take on the traditional German Octoberfest. Hop on a bike and join the Pedaling Posse for opening night Suds & Grub, meandering between downtown restaurants for beer tastings and food specials. The mountain is the place to be on Saturday for the I Love Beef Cookoff and local suds samplings. Boogie to the sounds of live music, and let kids splash around at Burgess Creek or find their inner cowboy at Ranch Roundup Games.