Ullr Fest at Breckenridge is the Ultimate Winter Party
For a few days every January, the snowy streets and slopes of Breckenridge are taken over by vivacious Vikings, who have traded in their swords for ski poles, and are ready to celebrate fresh powder and a white winter at the mountain’s annual Ullr Fest.
Founded by Norwegian pioneers, Breckenridge Resort now honors its historical roots by paying tribute to the Norse God of Winter, Ullr (rhymes with ruler) with a huge outdoor festival, giving thanks for a bountiful snowfall and hoping for more to come. Drawing in thousands of skiers, snowboarders and spectators, bundled in everything from fake fur outfits to bedazzled Viking helmets, this seasonal celebration is a tradition that dates back to 1963 and still remains a favorite among locals and visitors to the resort alike. If you plan on making the trip to Breck this year to join in on the festivities, they will be happening between January 13 through January 16, 2016.
Wednesday 13th – The day kicks off at 6:15 a.m. with the Breck Ascent Series, which includes multiple races down the mountain, starting at the base of Peak 8. Whether you choose to ski, snowboard, or just hang out for the rest of the afternoon, the celebration picks back up again at 6 p.m. for the traditional crowning of the Ullr King and Queen and a free, town-wide talent show that will keep you entertained all night long.
Thursday 14th – Following a great day on the slopes, get back into your Norse-wear and head over to Main Street at 2:30 p.m. for the Fat Bike Eliminator event. These awesome snow bikes with oversize tires, will race through a challenging course, and there are perfect viewing spots for spectators to catch all the action. By 4 p.m., Main Street will be packed full of spirited snow lovers, waiting for the highlight of the week, the Ullr Parade – featuring creative floats, complete with ski jumps, festive wintry decorations and some even being made out of old hot tubs. Before the parade, festival goers who are 21+ can help attempt to break the world record for the longest “shotski,” with last year’s spanning to 1,250 feet. From 5-7 p.m., get warm and toasty at the town bonfire in the South Gondola Lot. Guests are welcome to bring their Christmas trees to toss into the fire.
Friday 15th – If you had a long night at the bonfire, recover at the Main Street Station Plaza from 10 a.m. to noon, with the Hangover Breakfast hosted by Quandary Grill and Poached. Brave enthusiasts who really love the cold, are invited to participate in the Ullr Ice Plunge at Maggie Pond from 2-4 p.m. There will be music and drinks for all, and those who decide to take the plunge will receive a free lunch and blanket. At 5 p.m. another Fat Biking race will be taking place at the Gold Run Nordic Center and for even more action, the Breckenridge Bucks take on the Colorado Thunderbirds at the Steven C West Ice Arena at 7:50 p.m. At 8 p.m., Comedy Night at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center caps off Friday’s festivities.
Saturday 16th – The final day of the festival begins with an ice skating party from 1-3 p.m. at the Steven C West Ice Arena. Following from 3-5 p.m. are the highly anticipated Ullympics, where costumed competitors participate in crazy events such as the frying pan toss and ski boot relay. It is free for anyone to participate, but you must sign-up in advance. At 7 p.m., the Wild and Scenic Film Festival will be happening at the Riverwalk Center with the showing of two films and door prizes for visitors including outdoor gear, an Electra cruiser bike, lift tickets, and Faction skis. Another Breckenridge Bucks hockey game will also be underway, starting at 7:50 p.m.