I rounded up some of the top U.S. destinations to visit in 2015 earlier this week, and one of the places on the list is Steamboat Springs in Colorado. The oldest continuously operating ski town in the state, Steamboat Springs celebrates 102 years next month with their Winter Carnival, from February 4-8.
On Saturday the 7th, head to Lincoln Avenue to catch the street events from 9am to noon. These include skijoring (a sport where a person on skis is pulled behind a horse!) and lots of kid-friendly activities like the three-legged race and the "25 Yard Dog Dash," where kids under 5 race on sleds pulled by the family dog.
The evening of the 7th features the Night Extravaganza on Howelsen Hill. Expect to see daredevils jump through flaming hoops, skiers with flares parade down the mountain, and the 40-year tradition of the Lighted Man, a skier adorned with LED lights, sizzling sparklers and a backpack with Roman candles shooting off his back.
The festival ends with a parade down Lincoln Avenue at 11:30am on Sunday.
There's plenty to keep visitors busy beyond the carnival events, too:
- Hit the slopes to experience the ski area's famous "Champagne Powder"
- Explore the mountain's snowshoe trails
- Take the gondola for a three-course dinner at 9,000 feet at Hazie's. Go before sunset to watch the sun descend over Sleeping Giant
- Head to Strawberry Park Hot Springs for a soak in the 104-degree mineral water (below)
Here are two videos from past carnivals: the first is last year's Night Extravaganza and the second includes the parade and skijoring from the 2011 event (those kids are fearless!) See the complete schedule of events here.