Holdster was inspired by a time when things were made to last...so here's the deal:
I'm originally a Colorado kid that comes from an awesome little town called Steamboat Springs. My family has been in Steamboat for 5 generations and has witnessed it's transformation from a cow town to a destination ski-resort town. It's easy to be bothered by growth and development and to harbor nostalgic images of a bygone era and wish we had lived in 'the good old days'. Well, in spite of all of this change, there are a few traditions that have stood the test of time and take us back- back to that place that was loved by earlier generations. This year was the 101st Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs and these 5 traditions stand strong as an homage to the way things used to be- before litigation threatened fun and fear of accidents prevented spectacles...
#5: Ski Marching Band: That's right- this is a good old-fashioned marching band that plays the tunes during the Diamond Hitch Parade. The one thing that makes this band unique is the footwear- they're wearing wooden cross-country skis. It's a good thing too- the street is covered in 10" of snow... This tradition certainly isn't from this century.
#4 Sorel Soree: This is a real party. I mean a real party. Imagine everyone that you know in a small town dressing up in their most formal (or ridiculous) dress wear and pulling on their favorite Sorel Boots to go out for a night of drinking. If you can make it past the double-sided shot luge you may be lucky enough to grab a beer before ponying up to the shot-ski. The shot ski is a 270cm Ski jumping ski with room for you and 4 of your best friends to press lips to glass and collectively drown your sorrows with a round of your favorite liquid. In the background a big screen TV shows a live feed from the Sochi Olympics where local athletes faces are smiling back at you- including Steamboat Native Todd Lodwick, the USA flag bearer. Dance till your boots hurt and then dance some more. This party has no end- Last man or woman standing shuts the place down.
#3: The Donkey Jump: Every year for Winter Carnival, Highway 40 shuts down as it becomes Main Street in Steamboat Springs. Traffic is diverted, the street is covered with snow, and the crowds come out. Stand at one end of the Old West feeling Main Street and you'll catch a glimpse of a rare sight. Kids- many under 10 years old, stand clicked-into their skis in a neat line as real rough-and-tough cowboys struggle to keep their horses calm as the thousands of onlookers nervously await the start of the Street Events. A cowboy rides over to the front of the lineup of kids and asks a girl wearing a skirt over her snowpants how fast she wants to go... "As fast as you can go!" she replies. He tosses her a rope, turns, and takes off at a full gallop down the snow-covered street, jerking the girl up to full speed as she fights to stay up on her skis. The announcer sees them approaching and lets the crowd know who they're looking at just as she reaches the jump. "Thirty-five-Feet, Two-Inches" he announces... the crowd cheers. The next kid lands square on his face and stands to raise his hands high... the crowd roars. Cow Town meets Ski Town.
#2: Largest Firework in the U.S.: Remember when the Guinness Book of World Records was cool? It seems like people are bored with the old records and have given up on the excitement of witnessing something record breaking. Well, this year Steamboat Springs (population 12,000) tied the U.S. record for largest firework, sending a 500 lb. 36" shell 1.5 miles into the air to explode and light up the sky. Wasteful? Yes. Ridiculous? Yes. Exciting and Joyous? Hell yes.
#1 The Ring of Fire: Ok- When I see old posters for the circus or think of 19th century performers I imagine a show like this one. Take 40 grown men who know how to ski, fill them up with tasty beers and spirits, put skis on their feet, road-flares in their hands, and take them to the top of a ski jump at night. Now, hang a huge hoop off of the end of the ski jump and light it on fire. Send these guys off the jump rapid-fire and watch as they fly (Some over 200 ft) through the air before landing and coming to a stop in a big U formation at the bottom to look up at the real spectacle (because that wasn't impressive, right?): A guy who is towing a 100lb ski-patrol sled that is doused in kerosene lights his rig on fire and then heads down the inrun to pull that thing off of the ski jump. Yeah- I know. Watch the video Ring Of Fire
So there you have it. There are places where time has stood still- where shreds of the past live on and we can live like the generations before us. Grab a beer and come join us next year. Bring your Holdster...