Some people may have never heard of Ullr, but here in Breckenridge the Norse God of snow is a pretty big deal.
For the past 48 years, Breckenridge has devoted a whole week to celebrating Ullr (pronounced Oool-er) with massive bonfires, meandering pub crawls, heart-pumping mountaineering challenges and rowdy parades. Ullr has been very good to Breckenridge so far this season, dropping a total of 226 inches on the mountain with even more snow forecasted for later this week.
Festival activities kick-off tonight with a bonfire at the Gold Run Nordic Center at 5:30 p.m. where the official King and Queen of Ullr Fest will be crowned. The bonfire is a free event with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. Make sure you dress warmly though, overnight temperatures are expected to dip down to -10 so you might want to treat yourself to some Ullr Schnapps to keep your toes warm.
The Ullympics will take over Carter Park on Wednesday, January 12th, with co-ed teams competing in crazy competitions like the frying pan toss and the retro ski relay. Athletic skills are not required and participation is free so why not go make a fool of yourself with your closest friends? Did I mention there are prizes? Check out www.gobreck.com for more info on how to register.
As a former contestant of the Ullr Dating Game put on by KSMT- The Mountain radio, I can honestly say it’s an event you don’t want to miss and this year it is going down on Wednesday night at Cecilias night club. Both locals and visitors alike are encouraged to participate, and liquid courage is in no short supply at one of the busiest bars in Breck.
If the Ullypics seems like child’s play, maybe you’re ready for a bigger challenge. In its second year, the Breckenridge Ascent Series is not for the faint of heart and a fair amount of on-mountain training is encouraged for anyone daring enough to participate. The challenge is to summit five peaks, with skins, snowshoes, pogo sticks or whatever you want to use but you must have a snowboard or a pair skis to get back down. It’s an early start for those interested in participating (5:45 a.m. on Wednesday!) but registering early gets you a little price cut on the registration fee. For more information check out www.townofbreckenridge.com.
Even though Ullr Fest is packed with events, the true culmination seems to be the parade down Main Street on Thursday afternoon. This year’s theme for Ullr Fest is “Still Crazy After All Of These Years” and the buzz around town is that the floats this year are going to be all-out ridiculous. It’s almost a guarantee that at least one float will feature scantily clad locals, and you can expect lots of Viking hats, beads, candy and costumes. Even Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel was spotted on a float a couple of years back, so you never know what you might see coming down Main Street.
For more information on everything Ullr Fest you can check out www.gobreck.com, and make sure you get your butt up to Breckenridge because the festivities only come around once a year.
Pray for snow!!