When the snow flies, Breckenridge locals come out to play, and it’s not just on the slopes. A winter-long calendar of events keeps the lively atmosphere rolling through spring. Check out a few top winter festivals and some local’s knowledge on how best to partake. The fun continues all year with summer events and fall festivals.
Breckenridge Ski Resort Opening Day
Another exciting ski season begins when Breckenridge’s chairlifts start turning November 11 for the 2016/17 season. Get ready for huge powder days and a winter season full of events. Peak 8 will be the first peak to welcome skiers and riders; don’t miss the opening that locals call their “favorite day of the year.”
Local tip: Test out your skiing legs and get your turns on the hill early. Don’t forget, après needs just as much training as skiing. Make time to get reacquainted with our favorite happy hour watering holes in Breckenridge.
More info: www.breckenridge.com
Dec. 2-4, 2016: Lighting of Breckenridge, Race of the Santas kicks off holiday season in Breckenridge
Town “officially” transforms into a holiday scene on Dec. 3 with the Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas, when runners and walkers don Santa suits to benefit the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. The Handmade Holiday Market in the Breckenridge Arts District offers locally-made artisan gifts, most priced less than $50. Holiday cheer continues all month with the Dew Tour, Santa visits, New Year’s Eve parties and more.
Local tip: Travel early in December — during the Lighting — for a taste of the holidays without all the hustle and bustle. Since so many travelers stick to the peak Christmas and New Year’s weeks, early December is a great time to experience some holiday charm.
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Celebration
Bring in the New Year with a boom! Watch a spectacular array of fireworks, with the best visibility from downtown. Weather permitting, catch the Torch Light Parade down the Breckenridge Ski Resort. And of course, ring in the New Year with parties across town.
Ullr Fest rocks Breckenridge Jan. 11-14, 2017
For over 50 years, the Breckenridge community has paid tribute to Ullr (rhymes with cooler), the Norse god of snow. Grab a Viking helmet and join the town-wide snow dance which includes the iconic Main Street parade, Ullr Ice Plunge, Ullr talent show, Family Day and more.
Family tip: Plan for the Saturday family party, which offers free skating, sledding, and indoor Ullr activities.
More info: UllrFest.com
Outdoor Art Gallery: 27th Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships Jan. 24 – Feb 5, 2017
Snow carving in Breckenridge began as a local pastime; today, decorated snow artists from across the globe transform 20-ton blocks of snow into an outdoor art gallery. Be sure to catch the Fire Arts Festival for a fiery contrast of burning sculptures, pyrotechnical effects and other spark-filled attractions throughout the Breckenridge Arts District.
Insider tip: Stop by Friday night (Jan. 27), when sculptors work through the night. It’s a great time to hang by the fire pits and watch the snow carving community at work. Saturday, head back for the unveiling of the lights, when colored LEDs illuminate the completed sculptures.
More info: SculptSnow.com
Mountain Mardi Gras: February 28, 2017
Revel in the snow with fellow carnival goers this season as Breckenridge celebrates Mardi Gras. After a day on the slopes, head to Main Street for a parade with New Orleans-themed floats, music and drinks.
More info: http://www.gobreck.com/events/mardi-gras
Thirty days of play at Breckenridge Spring Fever: Mid-March through mid-April 2017
Breckenridge’s elevation – 9600 feet in town – makes the snow last longer and the bluebird spring days even sweeter. To celebrate, Spring Fever brings a month-long lineup of activities for families, beer drinkers (don’t miss Beer Fest), music lovers, mountaineers and more.
All ages: Teens and older kids can drop by the free concerts at the base of Peak 8, while Easter activities tend to be better for younger kids.