Ullr Fest honors the Norse god of snow.
Legend has it that Ullr, the Norwegian snow god was so well skilled in the use of the bow and could go so fast on his skis that in these arts no one could best him. Each winter he covered the earth with snow to protect it from harm. It has been said that Ullr enjoyed the cold weather and loved traveling throughout the land, gliding along on his great skis, for pleasure and hunting.
It is also said that Ullr was such a great skier, he would streak across the sky leaving the brilliant stars as his trails (they obviously had some fine powder days). Though very skilled, Ullr guarded his knowledge closely and refused to show the other gods how to ski. Luckily for us, he let the secret out of the bag, and we will all be soon celebrating his glory. Next time you are trying to bash through some wind crust or plunge head first into fresh waist deep powder, be sure to invoke his name and remember – ULLR RULES!
Ullr Finds A Home in Breckenridge
Shortly after Breckenridge Ski Resort was founded, local legends, Sigurd Rockne and Trygve Berge, created the first Ullr Dag festival. The festival came about because the majority of the ski school instructors were Norwegian and had a long tradition of celebrating Ullr, the Norwegian god of snow. The festival included a ski parade, competitions and aerial tricks demonstrated by ski school instructors. There were two booths, one at each end of Main Street, which cars had to stop and could buy Ullr Coins which gave them discounts in certain shops in town. The first crowned King and Queen for Ullr was Governor John Love and his wife Ann Love. To kick the parade off, there were four jets that flew 500 feet above Main Street. After the parade there was a bonfire. Ullr fit right in and took to the mountains. And every year, Ullr blesses Breckenridge with some of the finest snow in the world.
To repay Ullr for his gift of snow, we here in Breckenridge continue to hold a festival to honor the god of winter. We now call this little celebration Ullr Fest. Over the year, many traditions were formed such as the Ullr Ball, the Ullr Bonfire, the Ullr Parade, Snow Sculpting, Ullr King and Queen, the Ullympics and the Ullr Dating Game. Some traditions have stayed, such as snow sculpting, which has become its own event called the International Snow Sculpture Championships. Other traditions have gone by the wayside.
From fake currency to burning old skis in the bonfire, Ullr Fest has always been about fun and partying…and Breckenridge knows how to hold a “killer party, dude.” Just ask any of the locals.
Ullr Fest continues throughout the week with games, parties and more.