Ullr Fest royalty honors Breckenridge pioneer family

Daughter of Sigurd Rockne, who co-founded the resort, named queen

Ullr King Barrie Stimson and Ullr Queen Signe Rockne-Stimson pose for a portrait during Ullr Fest in Breckenridge on Thursday, Dec. 9.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Breckenridge crowned a new Ullr Fest king and queen Thursday, Dec. 9, after the longtime tradition took a hiatus amid the pandemic.

Barrie Stimson and Signe Rockne-Stimson were named the 2021 Ullr Fest king and queen for their dedication to the community, love of snow and family connection to the origins of Breckenridge’s signature festival.

Stimson owns Colorado West Real Estate Group and has been a real estate broker in Breckenridge for more than 35 years, while Rockne-Stimson has been a sales broker for Breckenridge Grand Vacations for 8 years. The couple has two kids, Hunter and Ridge, who are Summit High School graduates.

Rockne-Stimson’s father, Sigurd Rockne, is a familiar name for many in the community, as he was one of the co-founders of Breckenridge Ski Resort, which opened in December 1961, and part of the reason the first Ullr Dag happened in 1963. Rockne and his wife, Carol, were crowned as Ullr royalty in 2007.

The newly crowned king and queen are simply happy that Rockne and ski area co-founder Trygve Berge were there to celebrate with them during the parade and the resort’s 60th anniversary season. Stimson said they wanted to make sure the co-founders could be part of the celebration, so Rockne and Berge joined the parade alongside them.

“They were just fun, outgoing, great Norwegians, and I feel blessed that he’s alive and able to see what he created from something that was so small, that the locals always look forward to,” Rockne-Stimson said. “… It just makes me feel blessed and lucky that I had that in my life. People from all walks of life try to get here just to have a little piece of what we were raised with.”

Rockne-Stimson grew up in Breckenridge, skiing every season and going to Ullr Fest with her dad. Looking back, she said she sees how lucky she is to have grown up here.

“I went to college and traveled and put a backpack on my back and did that fun stuff, but I (realized), ‘Wow, I grew up in a pretty cool place,'” Rockne-Stimson said. “So I ended up back here, and my family is still here. And I met my husband, and we raised our own two children here, so I feel very fortunate.”

Ullr King Barrie Stimson and Ullr Queen Signe Rockne-Stimson make a speech at the start of the Ullr Fest celebration in Breckenridge on Thursday, Dec. 9.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Stimson moved from California to Fairplay when he was 3, frequently visiting Breckenridge while he was growing up. He said he always dreamed of making the town his home, and being named Ullr king feels like a rite of passage as a longtime community member.

“I can’t believe it worked out this way,” Stimson said. “Ullr is unique to Breckenridge, and it’s always meant something to me. It was like the start of winter and the start of fun and why I wanted to live here.”

As the couple was talking to Rockne about Ullr Fest, Stimson said Rockne reminded them that the year the resort and ski school opened had very little snow, similar to what Breckenridge has seen this year.

“They had very little snow, but it eventually snowed, and it was fantastic,” Stimson said. “It’s just kind of ironic that it was the same kind of season that we’re having right now.”

Rockne-Stimson said her dad was watching the snow start to fall Wednesday evening, reminiscing about how it felt leading up to that first opening day.

The couple agreed that the town of Breckenridge has done so much for its family that being recognized is an honor.

“For many people, it’s a dream to be here in Breckenridge,” Stimson said. “I certainly understand why people want to be here and enjoy the same magic of Breckenridge, because it hasn’t changed.”

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