Quandary: Summit County’s holiday best | SummitDaily.com

Quandary: Summit County’s holiday best

Although the challenges for the Ugly Sweater Contest are a surprise, last year’s activities included non-alcoholic egg nog shooters and obstacles.
Todd Powell / town of Frisco |


Quandary, the old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to all questions about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Email your queries about Summit and the High Country to Quandary@summitdaily.com.

Dear Quandary,

Without much snow, it just doesn’t feel like the holiday season, any suggestions to get me in the right spirit?



Interesting question, Merry. The holiday spirit can move people in very different ways. For some the smell of the turkey on Thanksgiving and football games on the big screen may have done the trick, while others didn’t truly embrace the season until elbowing Grandma out of the way en route to a 50 percent-off blender the next day.

It’s true, that usual blanket of white still hasn’t turned us into a Christmas town, but don’t get your tinsel in a bunch just yet. Snow is just one component of the holiday season, and storms moving in over the next couple weeks might be enough to fulfill that wish for you. Just in case though, you can look in other directions to make your cup runneth over with the holiday spirit. Whether it’s community, giving or pure competition that helps bring the jolly for you, I bet we can find an event to match your needs.

One event that covers all of the above is the Running of the Santas in Breckenridge on Dec. 3. Nothing says holidays like hundreds of your neighbors donning beards and bellies for a race down Main Street. This event is part of a day-long celebration in Breck, which includes singing in the Blue River Plaza courtesy the Summit Choral Society, caroling with the “Jingle Singers”, a visit from Santa and plenty more activities. As an old goat, I worry about your four-legged friends finding the true meaning of the holidays as well, so embrace the spirit and take them along for many of the events, including the after party in the Village at Breckenridge at 6:30 p.m. Just be careful, a lackluster performance in the Running of the Santas might mean you get upstaged by your furry friend when he makes the trek down Main Street as part of the Bernese Mountain Dog Parade at 3:45 p.m.

If your spirits are better improved through spirits, Frisco’s Wassail Days might be a good fit for you. This event combines competition, community and drinking over a week of festivities Dec. 2–11. In case you’re new to Summit, let me help you out with a few key features of this event: Wassail is a spiced hot cider. The varieties are endless though, and this is where you come in, my friend. Businesses throughout the town will compete for your admiration as you compare their concoctions with the 12 Sips of Wassail Card. In this friendly competition, you are the true winner though, as completed cards can be turned in for a free commemorative mug at the Frisco Information Center, also on Main Street.

Along with Wassail Days, Frisco brings the joyful spirit with a tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 2, as well as carolers on Main Street to build up to the emblazoning of the fir, starting at 5 p.m.

For some people, the holidays aren’t the holidays until Rudolph’s nose is protruding from an ugly sweater. If you are of the more-glitter, less-inhibitions mindset, the Ugly Holiday Sweater Competition on Dec. 10 might put you in the right place. The event will move to the Frisco Nordic Center for the first time this season where competitors will strap on cross-country skis or snowshoes to maneuver through a series of obstacles and challenges all whilst wearing their ugliest possible attire. Dogs are also welcome at this competition and will have their own ugly sweater contest so start scanning the thrift stores now.

I know, I’ve gone through all these events, and not a mention of presents yet. After all, what are the holidays if not a time to accumulate more stuff? Whether you are looking for the perfect gift, a white elephant or just want to take care of No. 1 — giving to yourself is still giving — stop into the Holiday Bizarre in Silverthorne on Dec. 3 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Taking place in the Silverthorne Pavilion, artists, craftsmen and the big guy in red will all be on hand.

Please be gentle with Santa though, the man has a hectic schedule in Summit alone, and we need to make sure he keeps enough energy up to make it through Christmas Eve. Mr. Claus will head to Dillon for its tree lighting on Dec. 1, 5:30–7:30 p.m., at the Dillon Community Church, complete with free hot cider, hot dogs and hats.

Papa Noel will be taking up a near residency at Keystone Resort as well, with events such as parades, ice skating and brunch from now through Christmas Eve when he will spend the day hanging with kids inside the snow fort before harnessing up the reindeer that night. En route to his sleigh Christmas Eve, Santa will also make one stop at Copper Mountain Resort to help with the torchlight parade and fireworks on Christmas Eve eve.

If you can’t find an event among these to deck your halls, I fear the problem might not be a lack of sweaters or even snow. In which case, turn off the lights, turn on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and we’ll see you next year.

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