What you need to know about Ullr Fest in Breck
*Editor’s note – this blog has been updated to reflect the 2015/16 Ullr Fest dates and info. Keep checking back for more details!
It’s that time again: the festival dedicated to Ullr, the “Patron Saint of Skiers,” will take over Breckenridge from Wednesday, January 13, 2016 through Saturday, January 16, 2016.
Who is Ullr and what is Ullr Fest?
Ullr, pronounced “Eww – lurr,” according to Norse mythology, is the son of Sif and a stepson of Thor. He’s known to be an expert archer, hunter, skater and skier. Many call him the “Norse God of Snow” and you’ll often hear locals praying to him when we need more fresh powder (or thanking him for his gracious bounty).
The history of Ullr and Nordic gods also teach us what amazing partiers the vikings were. Combining the love of snow, fun events, and our desire to please the “snow god,” you get today’s Ullr Fest in Breck.
The Ullr Parade
Arguably, the main event is the Ullr Parade with over 12,000 spectators expected to be in attendance. On Thursday, January 15 the parade will take over Main Street with folks dressed in viking helmets, plenty of entertaining floats, and fun times to be had.
Keep in mind there is some parking available in the town lots but no parking on residential streets in Breckenridge. Find more information about parking and the FreeRide bus transit at townofbreckenridge.com and breckenridge.com.
The World’s Longest Shot Ski
For those Ullr Fest participants over 21 years of age, you’re invited to join in an attempt at the world’s longest shot-ski. If you’ve not seen one of these before (really?) picture a group of friends standing shoulder-to-shoulder, holding a ski outwards on upward-facing palms with shot glasses attached.
Breckenridge Distillery shattered the record in 2013 with 60 skis and 192 people doing a shot in unison. This year we fully expect the same. Don’t miss the 2015 Ullr Shot Ski Attempt at 4:00 just prior to the parade. ($5 donation to Breckenridge Rotary, must be 21, bring ID). Registration for the Shot Ski will be day of in the Riverwalk Center starting at 1:00pm.
Other Ullr Activities
The week-long festival has dozens of fun activities scheduled and it’ll be hard not to find a drink special or nordic event throughout town. Some highlights during the week include:
- The Ullympics at the Riverwalk Center on Tuesday, January 13 will include events like the frying pan toss, group ski racing and more.
- The Ullr Bonfire will take place at 5 PM after the parade in the South Gondola Parking lot (Christmas trees are invited to participate).
Learn more about the week’s Ullr activities at gobreck.com, or watch Ryan Ross take on the Ullr Parade in the video below:
Also be sure to swing by Breck the week after Ullr Fest at the as Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships will be taking place. Watch as teams from around the world each work to turn 20 tons of snow into incredible works of art within just a few days. You’ll learn about the process of snow sculpting, how the teams came to be, where their design inspiration comes from and more.
– Devin Reams