100th Anniversary Winter Carnival announces ‘Win a ski pass logo contest’
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS – One hundred years ago, in December 1911, two men skied over Rollins (Corona) Pass, 44 miles down the Fraser Valley and into Hot Sulphur Springs.
Once there, these men – famed ski jumper Carl Howelson and fellow Norwegian Angell Schmidt – demonstrated their passion for ski jumping to an awestruck crowd. Among a group of boys watching that day was 10-year-old Horace Button whose life would be forever changed by what he saw that day. Button would go on to be inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame.
That singular event was, to anyone’s knowledge, the introduction of alpine skiing west of the Mississippi. The seed was planted. From there, alpine skiing spread through Grand County, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.
But it all began 100 years ago, right here in Grand County, in Hot Sulphur Springs.
The Grand County Historical Association is proud to announce plans for the Grand Winter Sports Carnival – “Where It All Began” – Celebrating a Century of Skiing in Colorado.
This six-week, county-wide event will span from Dec. 30, 2011, to Feb. 11, 2012 – mirroring the six weeks between Howelson and Schmidt’s first ski jumping demonstration in Hot Sulphur on Dec. 30, 1911, to Grand County’s first ski jumping competition at the Winter Sports Carnival in Hot Sulphur Springs on Feb. 11, 1912.
The winter carnival became an annual event, continuing through 1940. In addition to being the birthplace of Colorado’s ski industry, it was the launching pad for several Olympic skiers and Colorado Ski Hall of Famers.
The Winter Park Ski Train traced its origin to the Winter Sports Carnival, bringing more than 2,500 participant to the Hot Sulphur festivities some years.
The Winter Sports Carnival set in motion a winter tourism industry in Grand County that continues strong today.
During the 100th Anniversary Winter Carnvial, Grand County’s communities will continue a long-standing tradition of offering some of the state’s best winter attractions and events, including endurance ski races, ski jump exhibitions, skijoring, dog sledding, ice sculpting contests, ski history exhibitions, classic Nordic ski races, fishing tournaments, snowmobiling, snowshoe tours, ski movie screenings, sledding, ice skating, parades and fireworks.
The event will conclude with a Grand Snow Ball in Granby.
Already, the county’s four chambers – Winter Park/Fraser Valley, Grand Lake, Granby and Kremmling – are on board to help plan events as well as Winter Park Resort, Snow Mountain Ranch, Headwater Trails Alliance, Grand Nordic Club, the Grand County Historical Coalition and Rocky Mountain National Park, U.S. Forest Service, Ski Jor N More and Never Summer Squares.
Grand County Tourism Council has awarded Grand County Historical Association an $8,200 grant to kick of the marketing for the event, and the steering committee’s goal is to raise some $25,000 in sponsorships to market the event across Colorado, bringing more than 10,000 people into Grand County over the six-week period to help celebrate the birthplace of Colorado’s winter tourism industry.
The community of Hot Sulphur Springs has already formed an events committee with more than 25 members to begin planning its Winter Carnival events.
The Winter Carnival Steering Committee is seeking more ideas, volunteers, partners and, of course, sponsors for this event. Please contact Pioneer Village Museum at 725-3939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
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