High in the mountains, holiday traditions can quickly grow into what could only be defined as yearly rituals. If you haven’t already experienced one of these traditions here in the Rockies, we have the perfect opportunity rapidly approaching.
This yearly festival will take you to a time where myth and legend prevailed over all else. This is a time where Gods spun the world round and sewed the stars into the night sky. This festival is centered around Ullr, who was first written about in Norse mythology in which he is described as the step-son of Thor. Ullr is known as a master of archery, hunting, skiing, and a fierce warrior. In the mountains, UIlr is honored as the first to bring about skiing and it is said he would travel the world on his skies to hunt in the most remote of areas.
When it comes to Breckenridge, every year locals and visitors alike will gather every year to celebrate ‘Ullr Fest”. The celebration takes place in hopes that Ullr will be pleased and reward the town with a season full of snowfall and powder-days out on the slopes!
Ullr Fest begins on Wednesday, January 9th with the Crowning of the festival King and Queen which is a 56-year-old tradition that rewards two local residents for their contributions to the community. This fun ceremony takes place at the River Walk Center around 6:15pm and is followed by a local-featuring talent show called Breck’s Got Talent. This show is held by the radio station, Always Mountain Time. Be sure to get there early as the first 200 to arrive will receive FREE BEER! For those looking to register for this talent show, contact [email protected].
Not here until Thursday?? Well that just might be the best day to be here! The highlight of this festival takes place as over 1,200 people borrow connectable shot-skis and line up together to form one massive shot-ski that stretches as long as Main Street itself. For the small fee of $10 per person, the town lends participants a shot-ski and a shot from the Breckenridge Distillery in order to become a part of breaking the record for World’s Longest Shot-Ski. The shot-ski toast is only one part of the three-day festival to celebrate skiing, snowfall, and to thank Ullr for sharing the incredible sport of skiing with us.
After Breckenridge has once again claimed the ever-prestigious world record, the party has just begun! Festival goers can simply gather on the sidewalks to enjoy a parade floats aplenty made by local companies. If you’re thinking that this parade most commence the Thursday Ullr festivities…. think again! The Ullr partiers can make the short walk from Main Street to the South Gondola Parking lot where residents have gathered their retired Christmas Trees for bid them farewell in the form of a massive bonfire accompanied by Red Bull provided DJs.
When the heat from Thursday night’s fire has extinguished and Friday arrives, things really cool down with the Ullr Ice Plunge! Come gather around the Icy waters of Maggie Pond to watch as some of the bolder of the festival goers leap into an open section of the ice. Think you would like to be so bold to jump in yourself? Don’t forget to dress to impress as there is a Best Plunge Costume winner who will get their very own decorated Ullr helmet. And as awesome as it sounds to jump into freezing cold water and to walk away soaking wet, plungers can take advantage of heated changing rooms and hot tubs to help warm up those body temps.
The incredible festivities continue Friday night with laughs at the River Walk Center for a night of stand-up comedy. Tickets for this comedy night are available now. You can also find tickets and registration for the Ullr Bike Race, the Wild Scenic Film Festival, and plenty more! So, grab your best Nordic gear and get ready to celebrate Ullr so he brings us a winter of snow that we won’t soon forget!