Grand Lake’s popular Winter Carnival returns Saturday
Grab your goblets and don’t forget your thermals, Grand Lake’s annual Winter Carnival begins Saturday Jan. 23. This year’s theme is “A Royal Celebration: Crowns, Gowns and Castles too”.
The festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. with Her Majesty’s Tea Pot Curling competition, held on the Grand Lake Town Ice Rink. There is a $5 entry fee per person participating in Tea Pot Curling with slots for eight teams. The top three finishing teams will split prize money.
The Royal Snowman contest will be held in the Grand Lake Town Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The snowman contest is specifically geared towards kids. There is no entry fee and all entrants will receive a gift certificate for a rubber duckie or ice cream.
Also operating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be the Hole in One Kingdom Snow Golf competition. Snow golfing will be held in the Town Park and is intended for kids, men and women. Snow golf will have a large number of prizes for contestants.
Beginning at 11 a.m. the Winter Carnival will hold the Kids Jousting Steeplechase event in the Town Park. There is no entry fee for the event and prizes will be awarded to contestants.
The Winter Carnival Parade, called Royals on Parade, will begin shortly after noon at 12:30 p.m. The Parade will feature participants from the various events throughout the day including Bed Sled racers, Tea Pot curlers, King and Queen candidates and community merchants. All are welcome to participate in the parade.
At 12:45 p.m. the Parent/Child Imperial Sled Pull event will begin on Main Street. There is no entry fee for the Sled Pull event but contestants must bring their own sleds.
The very popular Bed Sled Races will begin at 1:15 p.m. on Main Street. In keeping with this year’s carnival theme the Bed Sled Races are being called Feudal Bed Sled Races. Bed Sled race teams are made up of three to four people pushing and one rider. Contestants must be 18 years or older. There is a $25 entry fee.
Not so Noble Human Bowling will begin at 2 p.m. on Main Street. Human bowling consists of a three person team with one person riding in a saucer while two “bowlers” aim the rider and saucer at “pins”, 10 empty water jugs. Contestants for Human Bowling will be broken down into adult and kid divisions. There is a $10 entry fee for adults. Kids compete free. Prize money will be awarded to adult contestants. Registration for Human Bowling will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Throughout the day Carnival goers will be able to peruse the Royal Kingdom Snow Sculptures. The sculptures will be officially judged at 3 p.m. The winners of the Snow Sculpture competition will be announced at the Grand Royal Masquerade held later in the evening.
Grand Lake will once again offer a spectacular fireworks display with majestic mountain views as a backdrop. The Reigning Fireworks display over Grand Lake will begin at 8 p.m.
Also beginning at 8 p.m. and going until midnight is the Grand Royal Masquerade, held at Pancho & Lefty’s featuring performances by the Acme Band and the crowning of the 2016 Winter Carnival King and Queen.
King and Queen contestants for this year include: Cathy and Michael Walton-Smith, Dena and Bill Sauter, Dolores and Peter Esmonde, Laura and Don Summers, Kim and Jeff Buckley, Stephanie and Jim Kroepfl, Patrice Zink and J.C. Coolen, Tracey Williams and Hayden Burke, and Maria and Charlie Varela. All King and Queen candidates for this year’s Carnival have been named King and Queen in previous years.
King and Queen candidates are chosen through a cash donation system for voting. Each of the various pairs of candidates has jars with their names on them located at different businesses in the Grand Lake area. Folks can “vote” for a pair of candidates by placing a single dollar in a jar with their chosen candidates’ name on it. Each dollar counts as one vote. The King and Queen for the Carnival is whichever couple receives the most “votes”. All monies raised for the King and Queen candidates go directly to the Grand Lake Fireworks Committee to purchase fireworks for Grand Lake’s four annual fireworks displays.
Last year’s King and Queen, Judy and Tom Tumblin will crown the King and Queen for 2016. “Grand Lake is so phenomenal,” said Judy Tumblin. “The fact that this small town can put on a fireworks show four times a year and it is all done through donations and the hard work of the Grand Lake Fireworks Committee is incredible. It was an honor to be a part of that and be able to share the passion of our town with so many other people.”
You can find King and Queen voting/donation jars at the following Grand Lake businesses: Stillwater Grill, Gateway Inn, The Roadhouse, The Lariat, Daven Haven Lodge, El Pacifico, Pancho & Lefty’s, Sagebrush BBQ and Grill, Grand Mountain Bank, Mountain Mongrels, Sloopy’s, Circle 3, Grand Lake Hardware, the Grand Lake Nordic Center and the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce. This is the 15th year Grand Lake has held their annual Winter Carnival.
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