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10 sights from Breckenridge's 2014 Ullr Fest

It's not unusual to see people dress up in costume at Ullr Fest.
It's not unusual to see people dress up in costume at Ullr Fest.
Carl Scofield

Since 1963, the town of Breckenridge has held Ullr Fest every January. The week-long party that pays homage to Ullr, the Norse god of snow, was started by locals to thank Ullr for the 300 inches of average snowfall Breckenridge receives each winter, making for amazing ski conditions up on the mountain. In recent years, Ullr Fest may have been more of a pray-for-snow type party than a celebrate-the-snow one with late-December and early-January conditions not being what they often are: powdery.

The 51st Ullr Fest, which was held Jan. 5-11 didn't need to be all about the snow dancing. Breckenridge received roughly 25 inches of snow to kick off the new year, and the snow hasn't let up much since Ullr Fest. Breck reported that the storm cycle that hit in early January brought seven feet of snow. A storm that started at the end of January brought 47 inches of snow in seven days, the most snow at the mountain from a single storm since the 2000-2001 season. February has brought more storms and more snow.

Ullr Fest is an excuse to party in the ski town with activities that include a parade, friendly competitions at the Ullympics, a bonfire, pond hockey, and more. Last year, the Breckenridge Distillery introduced a new tradition: the pre-parade shot ski where each year they'll attempt to break the record for world's longest.

Maybe it's all that partying that's brought all the powder to Breckenridge. That sure makes skiers happy.