Careful: Ullr Fest can suck you in, in more ways than one. Such is the case with Kim Dykstra-DiLallo.
She moved to Breckenridge Jan. 25, 1984 — the week of Ullr Fest.
“I was standing on a deck on Main Street with my new friends — the co-workers of KLGT-FM (now KSMT) — watching the Ullr parade, and the skies were dumping snow upon us. Oh, and there was schnapps!” she said. “I felt like I was home.”
The culture of Breckenridge, so personified during Ullr Fest – has kept her here since.
She loves the people that make up this community because they’re welcoming, authentic and fun-loving. (Just check out any of this week’s Ullr Fest to prove it: You’ll see people’s zany spirit emerge at 6 p.m. Jan. 8 as they toss frying pans, click into one pair of skis as a group and race, and compete in the ski boot relay; you’ll see the crazy bachelors and bachelorettes engage in a local version of “The Dating Game” at 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Cecilia”s, and you’ll definitely see the welcoming, celebratory spirit of Breck at the 4:30 p.m. Jan. 10 Ullr Fest parade on Main Street, followed by a community bonfire.)
In addition to the locals who make up Breckenridge, the “incredible outdoors — invigorating, peaceful and amazing beauty — and the high-profile events that Breckenridge attracts are what I love most and what keeps me here,” she said.
And as the director of communications for the Town of Breckenridge — a position she’s held for the last 10 years — she’s in the thick of the action.
“The most exciting is being a part of the world-class events like USA Pro Challenge and International Snow Sculpture Championships, and meeting people from around the world, as well as locals who volunteer,” she said.
Though, like every job, it has its challenges, namely keeping up with the ever-morphing world of social and electronic media to communicate. She’s also the person who sets the record straight; even — and maybe especially — in small towns, the rumor mill begins to turn, and when it does, she’s the person who “gets the real message out.”
“Love, Loss and What I Wore”
Even amidst of one of the busiest event months in Breckenridge, with Ullr Fest and the International Snow Sculpture Championships, she still finds time to check some things off her bucket list.
She’s wanted to return to the thespian life she lived in high school since almost the day she moved here, nearly 29 years ago, “but other things got put before this ‘hobby.’” And who wants to complete their entire bucket list before age 40 anyway?
Thanks to the way Backstage’s artistic director, Chris Willard, “pressured her with his charm and wit” — she debuts in Breck.
The show, based on the book of the same name, features five women interweaving stories revolving around the clothes they’ve worn. One state senator reveals her colorful past, another confesses her obsession with boots, while others chat about prom dresses and why women only wear black.
The format fit well with Dykstra-DiLallo’s sometimes hectic schedule: It allowed her to get back into acting on a “low-pressure, time-sensitive level” since she doesn’t have to memorize lines (though as the women perform, it hardly seems as if they’re “reading” their lines).
“I also wanted to model to my son, Dominick, that it is fun and rewarding to try new things, to do things that get me out of my box, and to do something that scares me,” she said.
One vignette she particularly relates to is “the clothesline” segment about women’s closets.
“No matter how many or how little of clothes I have in my closet, I seem to struggle with putting together the ‘perfect’ outfit,” she said.
Though she did manage to make a splash at the Breckenridge Festival of Film’s opening night reception with a halter top she bought at a consignment shop last summer. The silky, brightly colored material accented by a classy gold-braided sash caught attention.
“Someone came over to me and remarked that they had been in the clothing industry before coming to Breckenridge … and (said) this was an exquisite piece of clothing,” she said. “It made me feel like I had made a great purchasing choice, which has been a life-long struggle for me.”
For tickets to the show, call (970) 453-0199 or save the $2 surcharge and purchase them Tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for folks 18 and younger.