Do your Independence Day festivities need more celebration than simple backyard fireworks? The residents of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, invite you to join in celebrating their 111th Annual Cowboys’ Roundup Days and one of the best fireworks display in the state! An event that combines the historical Steamboat heritage with true western culture, Cowboys’ Roundup Days is held every year over July 4th weekend. Lindy Schwanke, Events and Sponsorship Director at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, sat down to explain that Cowboys’ Roundup Days is just the beginning. Steamboat Springs has so much to offer!
RAL: Who is involved in Cowboys’ Roundup Days and why has it been such a long-standing tradition?
LS: The timing has a lot to do with why the event has been such a long-standing tradition. Cowboys’ Roundup Days is a long weekend celebration around July 4, with a number of different events going on. This year will be the 111th celebration held in Steamboat Springs, and it allows the city to show their western heritage and style. Many different people and groups participate in the event including pro rodeo riders, ranch rodeo riders, local cowboys, lots of vendors, and families. Families with young children take particular joy in watching the parade, which typically attracts 6,000 spectators.
During the event, you can also watch cool activities like ski jumping, rodeo events and block parties. Skiing might be what people enjoy when traveling to the Steamboat area, but a Colorado summer is what makes people stay. I think the fact that we celebrate in Western Style is really fun, and the fact that we are up in the mountains in the summer time gives travelers a slightly different perspective. Steamboat is almost busier in the summer than the winter because we have so many things to do! There are plenty of mountain biking trails and hiking trails to explore in the area, or you can try tubing on Yampa River while you are not at the festival.
“The community really rallies together for this event and everyone enjoys it year after year.”
RAL: What does the weekend schedule look like for Cowboys’ Roundup Days events?
LS: The Roundup Days will kick-off on Thursday at 7:30pm with the Ranch Rodeo taking place along with the first round Bull Riding. Early Friday morning the fun continues with a pancake breakfast from 7:00-10:00 am at Little Toots Park. Following breakfast, visitors will have a chance to view the Cross Country/ Nordic Combined Roller Ski Race as well as Steamboat Spring on Lincoln Avenue. The famous Fourth of July Parade in downtown Steamboat will begin at 10:00 that morning. Then from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, the Pioneer Day Block Party will begin with a focus on history and how long Cowboys’ Roundup Days has been going on at the Tread of Pioneers Museum.
The fun continues with the Independence Day Ski Jumping Extravaganza at 12:30pm. This is held on Howelsen Hill over an astroturf-like course. Howelsen Hill is also known for being a location where Olympians train throughout the years. The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series will begin at 6:30 in the Romick Arena to finish off the indoor festivities for the night, and the night concludes with a fireworks display at 9:00 pm. A local who has specialized in actually building fireworks puts on this particular fireworks display. They have built some of the best fireworks displays in Colorado!
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
LS: The community really rallies together for this event and everyone enjoys it year after year! The Pioneer Day Block Party is a fundraiser for the museum and all sales from the July 3rd rodeo are used to improve the rodeo’s infrastructure. Local community groups and businesses take part in the parade, building floats and opening their doors for business downtown. Many events are free to the public, but you can pick up a treat to eat during the parade and at the ski jumping event as there will be vendors available for snacks and drinks. Local radio stations even participate with music before the rodeo and barbecue. Every Saturday, tourists and locals alike can access Steamboat’s local farmer’s market, and this tradition continues through Cowboys’ Roundup Days. Lodging and resorts see great benefits with this event as well. Cowboys’ Roundup Days and Independence Day in general create the busiest weekend of the summer. Accommodation owners find themselves close to full at 70-80% capacity on average. There is always more lodging available in town, but Steamboat actively strives for an attendance rate that allows everyone to be guaranteed good service. We want to see families coming back year after year.
To learn more about the festivities you’ll find at the Cowboys’ Roundup Days celebration, head to the event website.