Ullr Fest 2019 is coming to Breckenridge

Ullr Fest 2019 is coming to Breckenridge, CO from January 9, 2019 through January 12, 2019. This year is the 56th Annual Ullr Festival celebrating the Norse god of winter, snow and skiers.

Before we go any further, let’s talk about how you say Ullr. I’ve seen it shown various ways but think of ruler without the first “r”. Another way to think about it as “Oool-er” which is kind of like cooler, without the “c” sound at the beginning of the word.

Ullr shown on the the coat of arms of Ullensaker. (via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ullr)

Who was Ullr and what’s the Fest about?

The details of the Norse god Ullr appear to be lost to history because when I was researching him, there really isn’t a lot available. What I was able to find is that he was the step-son of the thunder god, Thor. Legend has it that he was an excellent archer, hunter, skater, skier, handsome, warlike, and a great deity to invoke before a duel. For this reason he is typically shown on skies with a bow and arrow in his hands.

Over time, Ullr has become a patron saint of skiers and in Europe, it’s common to wear a talisman of Ullr by recreational and professional skiers. Breckenridge, CO, adopted Ullr as it’s God of Winter and Snow in their first Ullr Fest.

We stumbled upon the Ullr Fest in 2004 by accident. We had a weekend planned for Breckenridge with a group from Austin. On the day we arrived, we checked into our condo and grabbed some lunch. Someone at the restaurant mentioned the parade later that afternoon so we wandered down to Main Street to see what it was all about. We were pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had. The highlight of the parade for us was watching the float drive down the street with crazy Vikings taking a plunge into ice-water on the back of the float. It definitely is something that should be on your to-do list if you’re in Breckenridge during the festival.

You’ll find that there are a lot of activities taking place around town and everywhere you turn around someone will be wearing a souvenir plastic Viking horn helmet. You’ll see the helmets in many of the stores around town and they’re also usually available at the Breckenridge Visitor Center at 203 S. Main Street.

What are the highlight events?

There are multiple events from Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 through Saturday, January 12th, 2019. However, the big main events are on Thursday, January 8, 2019.

Wednesday, January 9th:
The main event starts at 6:30 pm and is the “Breck’s Got Talent” town-wide talent show. This FREE event is sponsored by local radio station KSMT The Mountain and is held at the Riverwalk Center at 150 W. Adams Avenue. If you want more information, please check out the Facebook page for the 6th Annual Breck’s Got Talent 2019.

Before the talent show there will be a crowning of the 2019 Ullr Fest King and Queen. These two individuals will be chosen to recognize them for their contributions to the community.

Thursday, January 10th:
This is the big day with the most events. The starting event is the Ullr Shot Ski, followed by the Ullr Parade and the then Ullr Bonfire. Most of the events are on Main Street so take this as a warning that parking will be limited and Main Street will be closed most of the day. Plan on walking to the events or parking in one of the lots and taking a bus.

4:00 pm – Ullr Shot Ski – this event is held down the center of Main Street and is presented by Breckenridge Distillery. Unfortunately, as of today (12/28/2018) it is showing as being sold out to participate but you can get on the waiting list. This event should win back the title for World’s Longest Shot Ski. Even if you’re not participating, go and watch because there will be lot’s of fun to be had and you’ll enjoy the atmosphere.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy_2B6y2aj0&w=560&h=315]

4:30 pm – Ullr Parade – this event will also be held on Main Street. Be prepared for some wild winter fun and some crazy, creative floats! Here’s a look at some of the 2018 parade:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVJwZDx4bTU&w=560&h=315]

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Ullr Bonfire – this bonfire will be held in the South Gondala Parking Lot and is free to the public. Old ski’s and Christmas trees will be retired in style in this fun event. Plus, free entertainment will be provided by Red Bull.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxLnE8k7EhY&w=560&h=315]

Friday, January 11th:
This day is full day of activity so don’t party too hard at the Ullr Bonfire.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Ullr Ice Plunge – this free event will test your endurance and dedication to the cold. There will be music, food, drinks and laughter as participants plunge into the icy depths of Maggie Pond, located at Main Street Station Plaza, 501 S. Main Street. You can sign up on the day of the event and there will be a heated changing room and a hot tub open to everyone who participates.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNb993V7eoE&w=560&h=315]

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – National Cocktail Throwdown Finale – this event is held at Breckenridge Distillery at 1945 Airport Rd. The price is $35 for general admission and $70 for VIP admission. Nine of the best bartenders in the nation will participate in this grand finale of large format punch making. You can purchase tickets here

8:00 pm – Ullr Comedy Night – professional stand-up comedians Phil Palisoul and Elliot Woolsey will entertain you in this fundraiser event benefiting Breckenridge’s Carriage House Early Learning Center. Tickets are $25 and it is held at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center. You can purchase tickets here

Saturday, January 12th:
If you’re not completely worn out from the past 3 days, there’s even more activity today. 

1:15 pm to 3:00 pm – Ice Skating Party – This is a free kid-friendly event at the Steven C. West Ice Arena, 189 Boreas Pass Rd. There will also be a free kids Ullr helmet decorating event.

3:00 pm – Ullr Bike Race – this event is $30 for adults and $20 for Juniors (17 and under) and will be a fat tire race. In 2018, there were 70 competitors. You can register here

6:00 pm – Wild & Scenic Film Festival – this event is held at the Riverwalk Center and admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The festival celebrates nature and you’ll explore environment issues and movements with leading environmental activists, professionals, filmmakers and celebrities in celebration of the natural and human world in all its diversity. You can get tickets and more information here

Now that you know what’s going on, here are some additional links to the official sites for more detailed information:

Ullr Fest 2019 from GoBreck

What you need to know for Ullr Fest from GoBreck

Ullr Fest from VisitBreckenridge.com

Lastly, if you still need to book your reservation, check and see if we still have availability here. You can walk to all the events from our condo, except for the Cocktail Throwdown out on Airport Rd at the Breckenridge Distillery.