(Last Updated On: January 30, 2017)

Click HERE for current information on Race of the Santas and the Lighting of Breckenridge.


We’ve all seen Santa come to town during the holiday season, but how about 200-plus Santas — and Mrs. Clauses’ and reindeer — running south down Breckenridge’s Main Street in a race to the Christmas tree at Blue River Plaza.

Breckenridge starts the holiday season out with a blast of red and white on Saturday, Dec. 1, with its second annual Race of the Santas. Registration for the fun run starts at $10, but if you want to look legit and wear a Santa suit (which, let’s face it, unless you have your own big, red suit stored in the attic, you probably want to ho, ho, ho in style) it costs $30. Costumes for Mrs. Claus are also available.

This year, an additional fun run “reins” in the kids: The new Reindeer Run allows kids to don a reindeer costume and “fly” down Main Street.

Of course, all things Santa go to good causes: The registration money benefits Adopt an Angel Summit County, which gives toys to local kids in need. (You can also pick up a paper Christmas tree at local retailers and buy a toy for a specific child who’s described on the ornament.)

Some people — and dogs — dressed for the occasion with red and white accessories. Photo by: Nathan Bilow

After the Santa (and Mrs. Claus) and Reindeer Run, residents and visitors meet at the large tree near the Riverwalk Center for the Lighting of Breckenridge. The real Santa leads a procession to the tree, where everyone is welcome to enjoy free hot cocoa and caroling as part of the tree-lighting festivities.

Breckenridge continues to celebrate the holidays early with Breckenridge Arts Weekend Dec. 7-9. This full-blown extension of Breckenridge’s monthly gallery tour, Second Saturdays, features a three-day lineup of art openings, historical tours, workshops and live music.

Then, local carvers prepare for the Breckenridge Snowflake Challenge Dec. 7-14. The event is open to everyone, but I gotta tell you: I thought it might be an easy way to earn prize money, but these “amateurs” are pretty darn good. They toil day and night (especially in the last hours of the competition) to create amazing snow sculptures, which remain on display throughout the holidays. Site maps for viewing the snow art are available from the Welcome Center on Main Street the week of the competition.

Dec. 13-16, the Dew Tours pumps up the town as the world’s top freeski and snowboard athletes compete on Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Resort.


About The Author

Kimberly Nicoletti always knew she was meant to escape gray Chicago winters and spend her days skiing the Colorado Rockies. So, two months after she turned 18, she moved to Breckenridge to be a ski bum "for a season," assuring her parent's she'd return to Illinois to finish college. But, the ski bum life stuck. After three years of full-time skiing in Summit County, she decided to finish her degree at CU-Boulder in Creative Writing (granted, she took a semester off to ski). Once free of classes, she took yet another year off to ski in Summit (do you see a pattern here?). Then, she moved back to Boulder to earn her master's degree in Somatic Psychology/Dance Therapy. Upon graduation, she spent a winter teaching skiing at Mammoth Mountain. (Surely you see the pattern now.) In 2002, she moved back to Summit full time, to work at the Summit Daily as the arts and entertainment editor. She stayed with the company for 10 years, enjoying Summit's great events and later working as the managing editor of magazines covering the High Country. She still revolves her life around adventure and creativity, taking time to travel, ski, paddleboard, dance, ice skate, play with her dogs, learn new things and generally enjoy life. She's highly addicted to powder skiing and keeps her winter mornings commitment-free so she can indulge in "deep play" when Mother Nature cooperates. Off the mountain, she's a freelance writer and editor and teaches fitness and mind/body classes throughout Summit County.

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