Grand Lake preps for Winter Carnival
Each year the citizens of Grand Lake come together to celebrate with their annual Winter Carnival.
This year’s festivities will be held Saturday Jan. 11, in Grand Lake. The theme for this year is “Grand Lake Goes Hollywood”. The day will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with the popular teapot curling contest held on the Grand Lake Ice Rink. The Snowman Contest will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Town Park. The Snowman Contest is an event for children. The Snow Golf event will also be staged at the Town Park and will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well.
The Steeplechase event will kick off in the Town Park at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the Parade of Stars starting at 12:30 p.m. The Parent/Child Sled Pull will begin at 12:45 p.m.
The crowd pleasing Bed Sled Races will be held starting at 1:15 p.m. on Main Street. Also held on Main Street will be the Human Bowling event, which begins at 2 p.m. This year’s Ball will be held at Pancho & Lefty’s from 6 to 10 p.m. and will feature the ACME Band and an awards ceremony for the winners of various events throughout the day. Before the evening wraps up the Winter Carnival fireworks display over Grand Lake is set to go off at 8 p.m.
The Snow Sculpture contest and the King and Queen contest will be occurring throughout the day. Couples competing for the title of King and Queen this year are: Jack Krape and Tia Jones sponsored by Sagebrush BBQ and Grill, Erick Varela and Leah Mejia sponsored by El Pacifico, Garret Milbrett and Courtney Dube sponsored by Pancho & Lefty’s, Egon and Doris Braun sponsored by Water Floats Your Boat, and Brenden Bailey and Alex Landa sponsored by the Roadhouse Bar & Grill.
Last year’s King and Queen for the Winter Carnival were Don and Laura Summers. Don and Laura are long time residents of Grand Lake, Don grew up in the area and Laura has lived in the area fulltime since 1987.
Event planners who help organize the Winter Carnival said they were pleased with how active the couple has been over the past year as King and Queen, participating in all the parades and various events in their royal capacity. Laura Summers estimated she and Don participated in roughly eight events as royalty.
“We were there for all the parades and during the Fourth of July,” she said.
“We helped collect money at the stops signs with other people. When you are wearing and crown standing in Grand Lake it is a conversation starter. The tourists would ask why we were wearing crowns and were very generous with their giving.”
Summers pointed out part of the function of the King and Queen is to help raise money for the Town’s fireworks fund and other issues but was quick to add that as King and Queen she and Don were merely the “faces” of those efforts.
“It takes a whole village literally to get out there and collect the money,” she said.
That sort of civic commitment and generosity is what Summers said was her favorite part of living in Grand Lake.
“The reason I will never leave here is the people,” she said.
“The people here are the most generous, kind, welcoming people I have ever known. The beauty of this place is exceptional, but you can find beauty almost anywhere on earth if you look. It is the people here that are so exceptional.”
Summers said Snow Golf is her favorite event of the Carnival and she is looking forward to the Bed Sled races this year where she will be cheering on the Christopher Mullinex Water Rescue Fund Team and their Jaws themed bed.
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