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Ullr's 50th Birthday Bash
Ullr's 50th Birthday Bash
Posted by Eric Harris Bernstein on December 18, 2012

Ullr Fest is Breckenridge’s annual homage to Norse winter god Ullr (pronounced Ooh-ler), and an unofficial kick-off to the serious ski season, which everyone knows doesn’t really get going until the first month of the year.

Presented by Bud Light (hard to miss given the quantity of free Bud available at a number of sponsored events), the weeklong celebration is a tongue-and-cheek prayer for snow and an excellent excuse for mountain lovers to do what they love most – get silly. If you’re looking to see fun-loving mountain culture at its best, then Ullr Fest, with its legendary parade, plentiful Viking costumes, and competitions in everything from pair skiing to frying pan tossing, is a great bet. In its 50
th year, Ullr has calmed down from its early, ski-burning, binge-drinking incarnations, but it’s still well worth checking out, especially as it now carries the benefit of being fun for visitors of all ages and intentions. 

Early festivities kick off Sunday, Jan. 6, with free beer and live music for the crowning of the Ullr King and Queen at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center (150 Adams Ave.). They continue with a family night of free ice skating at the Gold Run Nordic Center on Monday, the Ullympics at Carter Park on Tuesday, and KSMT-sponsored Ullr Dating Game at Cecilia’s on Wednesday (visitors 21 years and older who are interested in being a contestant in the question and answer-style game should call 970-453-2234).

The flagship night of the week is Thursday, which is packed with the Ullr Fest parade (Viking costumes are encouraged for viewers and mandatory for marchers), a bonfire, and fireworks. The parade of floats and Norse characters leads off at 4:30 p.m. and rolls through Main Street over the course of an hour. The bonfire overlaps, with a 5:00 p.m. start, at a location usually convenient to the parade (yet to be determined). Fireworks commence at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen from almost any open spot in town. Expect the revelry to continue at downtown bars well after the final rockets burst.

The spirit of Ullr Fest remains strong throughout the weekend, but official events slow down for Friday and Saturday, with Comedy Works taking over the Beaver Run Resort and the Ullr Fashion Show (read: Viking costume contest) at the Park Avenue Pub.



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