The crowning event at The Winter Carnival is the Diamond Hitch Parade, as it brings the last day of street events to a close. In true Light family history, our family was involved both in the first diamond hitch and in continuing the tradition through the years. What constitutes a diamond hitch you may ask? Skiers, usually in costume, wearing skis, and being pulled across the snow covered street by horse and rider. The diamond comes in the configuration of the ropes pulling the skiers – at least one in front, then one on each side behind the leader, then one directly in back therefore forming a diamond shape with the ropes. And why was it decided to add a diamond hitch configuration to the parade?
This is an excerpt from a response that Annabeth Light Lockhart received from Mrs. Harold (Ruth) Alexander of Lander, Wyoming who was one of the charter members of the L.R.C. (Ladies Recreation Club) of Steamboat Springs.
“. . . I have looked through my L.R.C. scrapbook. Tony Welton was our first president when the club was organized in 1928. Two years later she thought up the idea for the L.R.C.’s to do something to give the carnival street events some color, style, beauty and grace in skiing. In order to do this, the event should be something several could take part in. She figured out the Diamond Hitch to be pulled by a horse and rider. The skiers to be in costume.”
There had to be competition of course! “The event was judged on Beauty of Costumes, Holding a Perfect Diamond, Skiing Form, and Rapport Between Horse, Rider, and Skiers.”
Mrs. Alexander wrote that the first Diamond Hitch event started in 1931 and Annabeth Light Lockhart was a member of one of the initial groups that year. All 9 year old girls, Annabeth joined Gloria Gossard, Catherine Campbell, and Doris Harwig, to ski in identical ski clothes with balloons fastened all other their clothes and the rope that formed the diamond. They were a colorful bunch.