Season’s greetings: Celebrate the holidays with Ullr Fest, tree lightings and more |

Season’s greetings: Celebrate the holidays with Ullr Fest, tree lightings and more

A family gathers under the illuminated tree in Breckenridge. Silverthorne, Dillon and Breckenridge are all having tree lightings in the coming days.
Louie Traub / Breckenridge Tourism Office

FRISCO — Following the lightings and happenings at Copper, Keystone and Frisco, it’s time for the rest Summit County to get in the holiday spirit. Silverthorne, Dillon and Breckenridge will welcome winter with various events and tree lightings that are sure entertain everyone young and old.


As part of the town’s monthly First Fridays event, Silverthorne will have its tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in front of the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center. Feel free to come early, however, as the Silverthorne Pavilion will have holiday carolers, crafts, hot chocolate and more at 4:30. From 5:30-7:30, the pavilion also will have photos with Santa and live music by the Rocky Mountain Brass Band.

At 6, walk over to Red Buffalo Coffee & Tea for storytime, crafts and treats. From there, head to to Angry James Brewing Co. at 7 for its annual Angry Santa party and compete in Bad Santa costume and ugly sweater contests for a chance to win tickets to Yonder Mountain String Band. Local blues band Chris Bauer Trio will be providing tunes for an immediate music fix for those who can’t go to the concert.

Mark your calendars to return to the Silverthorne Pavilion the next morning for a holiday bazaar. More than 30 local vendors will sell gifts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Throughout the day, there also will be a dance performance, live music, a recital from the Summit Choral Society, food and drinks in addition to visits from Santa and free children’s crafts.


The following week, Dillon will host its tree lighting from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the Marina Park Pavilion. Enjoy sips of provided hot chocolate and other warm beverages while making crafts with The Frosted Flamingo mobile art studio.

The tree will be on display until Jan. 12 with the choreographed light show running every half-hour from 4:30-9 p.m. 

People march down Main Street Breckenridge during the Ullr Fest parade. The festival comes early and will happen in December instead of January.
Courtesy Breckenridge Tourism Office


Do you want to build a snowman? If so, you’re in luck because Breckenridge Creative Arts is throwing a snowman building competition at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. The contest will be on the Arts District lawn and judged by Breckenridge Creative Arts‎ staff.

People with pooches are invited to join in on the annual dog parade at 3:45 p.m. at Main Street Station. Following behind them on Main Street is the Moose March, a fun run for children 12 and younger at 4:20. The 0.75-mile Race of the Santas begins just 10 minutes later, and the top finishers are awarded Ullr helmets and other prizes. Visit for race registration details.

Feel free to walk to the Blue River Plaza after the races. There, the town tree will be illuminated at 5. Santa himself flips the switch, and families can meet him in person at 5:30 at the Barney Ford Museum. He’ll listen to children’s Christmas wishes at the decorated Victorian home and pose for photos. Closing out the night is a free holiday concert with Hazel Miller at 6 at the Riverwalk Center.

This is the first year that Ullr Fest is in December, rather than January, since the Dew Tour moved so there also is plenty to do after the tree is lit. The festival begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, with the crowning of Ullr royalty — Leigh Girvin and Carl Scofield — and a town talent show at the Riverwalk Center. During the show, artist David V. Gonzales will sign posters and showcase his style with a live painting demonstration.

The celebration gets hotter Thursday, Dec. 12, with the Breckenridge Distillery attempting to break the shot ski record currently held by Park City, Utah. The distillery is hoping for more than 1,300 people to line Main Street and start the fun at 4 p.m.

Main Street will stay plenty busy as the Ullr Fest parade takes over at 4:30. The float that comes in first receives $500, second gets $300 and third is awarded $200. Visit for shot ski and float registration details.

Though Christmas hasn’t happened yet, the annual bonfire will be made from old Christmas trees from previous years at 5 at the South Gondola Parking Lot.

Hopefully the fiery night of revelry works its magic because, for the first time, the Ullr Ice Plunge set for Friday, Dec. 13, has been canceled due to warm weather. The Breckenridge Tourism Office is working on rescheduling the event for a later date.

The main event that evening is comedians Jim Colliton and Geoff Tice. Colliton’s delivery and suburban background help him connect with audiences of all ages and sizes, and he has been seen on Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots and heard on XM Satellite Radio’s Comedy Channel. Meanwhile, Denver-based Tice is a regular at Comedy Works and has performed at SF Sketchfest, Limestone Comedy Festival and High Plains Comedy Festival. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of the show, and all proceeds benefit the Carriage House Early Learning Center. Visit to purchase.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, families can enjoy an ice skating party at 1:15 p.m. at the Stephen C. West Ice Area. Then, closing out the celebration is a new event called Ullr on the Edge. The juried fine art show at Arts Alive Gallery features 25 skis and snowboards that have been painted. An opening reception is from 4-7:30 and the art will be on display through March 22.

An example of a painted snowboard that will be showcased at the Ullr on the Edge art exhibit at Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge. A reception will happen Saturday, Dec. 14, and the art will be on display through March 22.
Courtesy Summit Arts Council

Ornaments and art

Along with the tree lightings, there are a few opportunities for last-minute shopping and gift making. On Friday, Dec. 6, Warren Station Center for the Arts partnered up with Ready, Paint, Fire! for an ornament painting party. Drop in any time from 4-7 p.m. and choose from 10 shapes to design for the holidays.

Also Friday, The Sunny Side Up Studio in Frisco will host an authentic German Christmas market from 5-8 p.m. The store will have gnomes, handmade ornaments, hats, hoodies and candles along with baked goods and mulled glühwein that comes in a commemorative mug.

If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas card to pair with those gifts, Frisco’s Outer Range Brewing Co. is hosting an artist pop-up from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Denver-based illustrator Paul Michel, known as Mountain vs. Plains, will sell his cards, prints and other miscellany. In addition to the gifts, guests can enjoy food from Craftsman along with tuning and waxing services from The Ski Doctor.

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