Ullr quest kicks off Breckenridge opening celebration
Ryan Summerlin November 2, 2012
Kicking off the celebration of Breckenridge opening week, the “Find Ullr,” promotion has the infamous snow god popping up in various Denver landmarks starting Saturday.
Clues about Ullr’s location will be posted daily on Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Facebook page. The promotion extends through Nov. 8.
The first person to find him will secure a lift ticket opening day and ride first chair with Ullr, according to Alysa Hetze, spokeswoman for the resort.
“We chose Denver as the place where Ullr is going to be to drum up the excitement for opening day,” Hetze said. “Anyone can participate but they have to be in Denver to track him down. This is a great way to encourage people to drive up from the Front Range for opening day.”
According to Breckenridge officials, Ullr is logically a Summit County local and the Norse god of snow and northern lands.
“Ullr loved the cold as well as traversing the county on his skis or skates,” according to the Breckenridge town website. “One of the Norseman’s favorite travels would lead him to Breckenridge where he would bless the town’s mountains with some of the world’s finest snow.”
In its 50th year, starting one year after Breckenridge Ski Resort’s first season, Ullr Fest debuts Jan. 6-12.
“It’s a wacky winter festival that’s taken place since 1963 by the Peak 8 ski school,” Hetze said. “You can expect a lot of people to be dressed up in Viking gear and hoping for snow.”
The festival, designed to be a cabin-fever-reliever, features a series of competitions called the Ullympic Games ending with Ullr enthusiasts decking out for the Ullr Parade.
During the annual fest in Breck, horned Viking hats adorned the heads of skiers and snowboarders, Ullympic competitors flung frying pans for prizes, and more than 12,000 Ullr enthusiasts filled the streets for the Ullr Parade last year, according to Hetze.
“The finding Ullr promotion will really get people excited for the 50th anniversary of the festival,” Hetze said. “Ullr is a great piece of folk lore that appeals to our culture in Breckenridge and Summit County.”
– Paige Blankenbuehler