Breckenridge loves to celebrate winter!
Every year, Breckenridge embraces the spirit of winter with a variety of unique and fun events!
We have events such as the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Competition, where 20-ton blocks of snow are transformed into beautiful works of art; and the local celebration of winter known as Ullr Fest. These festivities showcase the character and spirit of adventure that is Breckenridge.
Visit during a Breckenridge winter event. Everyone is welcome, and you will have the time of your life!
Check out all the winter events:
Typically the first weekend of December.
Breckenridge embraces the holiday spirit at the Lighting of Breckenridge. Each year on the first Saturday of December, locals and visitors gather together to celebrate the start of the holiday season in Breckenridge.
The Lighting of Breckenridge traditionally starts with free hot cocoa, cookies and caroling at the local Subway, located at 305 North Main Street. Santa arrives around 5 p.m. to lead the procession down historic Main Street to the Blue River Plaza, where he presides over the lighting of the town tree. This wonderful free family event is not to be missed!
Also part of the festivities is the Race of the Santas. A newer tradition, each year, hundreds of runners dressed up as Santa race down Main Street in hopes of winning prizes.
Ullr Fest is Breckenridge’s signature locals’ winter festival. Ullr Fest has been going on in Breckenridge for over 50 years and is a favorite festival for locals and visitors alike. Ullr Fest is a weeklong celebration that includes zany events such as the annual Ullr Parade down Main Street in Breckenridge.
During Ullr Fest, you will see horned Viking hats adorning the heads of skiers and snowboarders, Ullympic competitors flinging frying pans for prizes, more than 12,000 Ullr enthusiasts filling the streets for the Ullr Parade and crazy float participants skiing off jumps on Main Street or gliding along town in a hot tub on a trailer. In Norse mythology, Ullr (pronounced Oool-er) was the god of winter. Come celebrate winter the way Ullr would want at Ullr Fest in Breckenridge!
Ullr Fest Signature Events
Ullr Parade & Bonfire
Head down to Main Street in Breckenridge for the Ullr Fest Parade and celebrate snow with all the participants in the parade! The annual Shot-On-A-Ski where we attempt to break our own world record again will be held just prior to the parade at 4 p.m. Our Shot-Ski in 2017 was a 1,997 ft. ski with 1,324 people lined up on Main Street who all took a shot at the same time.
World Record 2015: 777 people
World Record 2016: 831 people
World Record 2017: 1,234 people
World Record 2018: ???
You may register for the parade at the Riverwalk Center from 1 to 4 p.m. A $5 donation to the Breckenridge Rotary Club is encouraged. Following the parade will be the annual town bonfire! Bring your Christmas tree and head down to the South Gondola Parking Lot.
Bring the family and friends for a night of entertainment. The Riverwalk Center presents a town-wide talent show. The winners of this contest will also be crowned king and queen of Ullr Fest!
Comedy Night 7 p.m.
Join a night of laughter at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. Come join comedy works in celebration of Ullr Fest!
Ice Skating and Ullympics
The Steven C. West Arena hosts a day of ice skating and decorating of Ullr helmets. Join the fun located at 189 Boreas Pass Rd. The Ullympics kicks off at 3 p.m. Join the fun events like the frying pan toss, group ski racing and ski boot relay. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Must register in advance.
Typically the third week of January.
Come see snow transformed into art on a Grand scale right in front of your eyes. Each January, artists from around the world gather to create impressive snow sculptures from 20-ton blocks of snow that stand 10 feet high. Even more impressive is that they are only allowed to use hand tools!
Sculptures range from whimsical works such as a boy and his father sledding to technically difficult abstract shapes. Sculptors get 65 hours to complete these massive works, and teams come from all around the world to compete. The competition is open to the public, and the artists are more than happy to discuss their works with guests.
If you are looking to take home some art, explore the shops, boutiques, restaurants and nearby galleries offering more durable non-snow art. A visit to the snow sculptures is a great way to spend an evening with the family after a day on the slopes as the sculptures take on a beautiful glow when illuminated at night.
The Snow Sculpture Championship takes place in the third week of January each year.
Traditional Snow Sculpture Schedule:
Sculpting begins at 11 a.m. on Tuesday with a gunshot start, and sculpting ends on Saturday at 10 a.m. The awards ceremony will be on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Stop by to view the sculptures as they will be up all week, weather permitting.
*Please note that visitors are welcome to the event anytime. During viewing week, the artists are done sculpting, but the sculptures are left up for your viewing pleasure.
Always on Fat Tuesday.
Every year, Mardi Gras fans visit Breckenridge to ski, ride and celebrate Fat Tuesday with masks, boas, beads, music and revelry. Breckenridge celebrates by closing Main Street and hosting a Mardi Gras Parade.
The fun kicks off at 2 p.m. for a Fat Tuesday party in the streets! The procession is a traditional Mardi Gras parade like you would find in New Orleans, filled with crazy floats and colorful characters. This is a free event that is fun for the whole family!