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Celebrating 50 years of Ullr Fest

Ullr Fest in Breck

If you’re reading this, you know who Ullr is (Norse god of snow, mascot of our beloved ski town) and you know that Breckenridge is ground zero for Ullr festivities.

Ringing a bell? If not, then now is the time to educate yourself (OK, by “educate” I mean “party for a week in the mountains.”)

Now in its 50th year, Ullr Fest is the annual party when free-spirited Breckenridge locals invite everyone to give thanks to all things winter, participate in silly games, and sacrifice skis and other things in a bonfire followed by fireworks. It’s like Mardi Gras meets Burning Man meets the 4th of July under the towering peaks of Breckenridge.

This year, the fun started Sunday, Jan. 6, with the crowning of the Ullr King and Queen. It’s like high school homecoming with goggle tans.

Monday, the party went family-friendly with free Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, indoor activities and a family-friendly bonfire at the Gold Run Nordic Center on Tiger Road.

The celebration continues through the week:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 8, Ullympics: If you’ve never participated in a frying pan toss, now’s your chance. Also not to miss: group ski racing and ski boot relay.

    Ullr the God of Snow
    Ullr the God of Snow
  • Wednesday, Jan. 9, Ullr Dating Game: There’s a saying about dating in a ski town (at least for women): “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.” Whether you’re a Breck local or a weekend warrior, invoke the local cupid (i.e. local radio station KSMT) and play the dating game.
  • Thursday, Jan. 10, Ullr Fest parade and town bonfire: This is the event that put Breckenridge on the map as Ullr Central. Chances are participation in the parade and bonfire will result in raucous stories that will become skiing lore in your world. It’s more than a parade. It’s a living, breathing, energetic homage to winter with floats (have you ever seen a hot tub being pulled by a dogsled team?), and more. Parade starts 4:30 p.m. on Main Street.  A town bonfire will follow in the South Gondola Lot from 5-7 p.m., and fireworks follow the bonfire at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 11, Comedy Night: Laugh your ass off withComedy Works at Beaver Run Resort.
  • Saturday, Jan. 12, Pond Hockey Tournament (new) & Ullr Fashion Show (new): Close out the week with a pond hockey tournament (UllrFest.com for details, call 970-547-9974 to register) and a Viking-themed costume contest. BYOVH (Bring Your Own Viking Horns).

Let’s celebrate all that Ullr is and will be this week and Pray for Snow!

— Rachel Walker

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