"Snow Ball 12" on Feb. 11 the final event of the Centennial Celebration | SkyHiNews.com

"Snow Ball 12" on Feb. 11 the final event of the Centennial Celebration

One hundred years ago, in February 1912, the Grand County community celebrated winter by throwing a historical series of events and a Grand Ball. The Winter Carnival was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi. Skiing was demonstrated as a competitive downhill sport for the first time ever in Colorado. Front Rangers took the train over Rollins Pass to attend. Once here, they tobogganed, ice skated and participated in snowman building contests. They spent their money at the hotels and restaurants. They marveled at ski jumping. They soaked in the local hot springs.

To cap off their First Annual Winter Carnival, Grand County celebrated with a Grand Ball. It was a bit of a barn raising and for many years to follow, the Grand Winter Sports Carnival attracted thousands of visitors to Grand County.

Today, Grand County has three winter carnivals and more than a dozen winter recreation facilities. There are 400,000 acres of National Forest in Grand County, a National Park, two premier downhill ski areas, three covered ice rinks, four world-class Nordic ski areas and two tubing hills. Grand County also offers ice fishing, ice skating, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, skijoring, ballooning and great local music, galleries, shops and restaurants.

The 2012 Grand Winter Sports Carnival closing celebration will be held at Granby Ranch Base Lodge, from 6-10 p.m., Feb. 11, 2012. The evening includes great food, dancing, local artists, musicians, actors, athletes and a torchlight parade. Wear your best apres ski attire from your favorite decade. The event will feature Olympic memorabilia from our community’s sports heros and heroines, old ski photographs, unique books, photos, films and more. Local musicians will put down some toe-tapping grooves and the kids will be treated to a special menu and movie. Professional childcare will be provided.

This celebration is part of the Grand County Historical Association’s (GCHA) commitment to preserving and sharing Grand County’s rich history. Visit Grand Winter Carnival.com for event details, history and more.

Everyone is encouraged to come out and celebrate our communities rich heritage.

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