9 Unique Colorado Winter Festivals

If you don’t know by now, winter in Colorado is just one season-long celebration! Every weekend seems to host a bigger, better (sometimes weirder) event than the last. The following festivals are some of the best Colorado has to offer. So, if you start to catch cabin fever this winter, just do what the locals do and play in the snow!

  • Ullr Fest
  • Estes Park Winter Festival
  • Ouray Ice Festival
  • Telluride Fire Festival
  • Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Championships
  • Aspen X Games
  • Snowdown in Durango
  • Steamboat Winter Carnival
  • Frozen Dead Guy Days

Ullr Fest

When: January 10th – 13th, 2018
Where: Breckenridge, Colorado

Every year, Breckenridge throws a weekend long party to praise Ullr, the Norse God of Winter, for his gift of snow! The festival has many long-standing traditions including the Ullr Ball, a parade followed by a bonfire, the world’s longest shot ski, snow sculpting, and crowning Ullr King and Queen. Ullr Fest has always been about fun and partying, so grab your skis and horned hats and join the locals in celebrating winter!

Estes Park Winter Festival

When: January 13th & 14th, 2018
Where: Estes Park, Colorado

This winter, celebrate the season in Estes Park as the Estes Park Events Complex comes alive with winter fun! Sample award winning chili at a cook-off, indulge in a variety of wine and beer all while enjoying live entertainment. Don’t forget the ski and snowboard demonstrations, along with many more family-friendly activities!

Estes Park

Ouray Ice Festival

When: January 18th- 21st, 2018
Where: Ouray, Colorado

For three days this January, both professional and novice ice climbers from near and far descend on Ouray to celebrate the growing sport. During the day, attendees can demo the latest ice tools, gear, and apparel or participate in interactive and educational clinics. At night, they will be treated to presentations by leading climbers, music, dance parties, food, and live auctions. And on Saturday and Sunday, spectators line the top of the Gorge to watch the best ice climbers battle for a prize!

Telluride Fire Festival

When: January 19th – 21st, 2018
Where: Telluride, Colorado

This unique annual event was inspired by Burning Man and strives to bring the same ethos and larger-than-life fire artwork to Telluride. Last year, dynamic art performances took place on the public plaza each night. Attendees are also able to participate in a variety of educational workshops to learn about the different crafts of fire artistry firsthand.

Breckenridge Snow Sculpture Championships

When: January 22nd – 29th, 2018
Where: Breckenridge, Colorado

Imagination comes to life through the magic of snow! Watch as artists from around the world transform enormous 12-foot blocks of ice into masterpieces using only hand tools. Sculpting begins at 11am on the 22nd, and visitors are welcome to view the entire sculpting process. During the viewing weekend (January 25th – 29th), the artists are done sculpting and the final pieces are on display for the public’s viewing pleasure.

Aspen X Games

When: January 23rd – 28th, 2018
Where: Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado

X Games returns to Aspen in 2018 for the world’s best action sports and music festival experience in the snow! All sports competitions are free and open to the public. This year the musical headliners include: Method Man & Redman, Marshmello, LCD Sound System, and Martin Garrix. All performances will take place at the base of Buttermilk Mountain.

Snowdown in Durango

When: January 31st – February 4th, 2018
Where: Durango, Colorado

Created in 1979, Snowdown is a town wide event meant to brighten the long Colorado winter. With more than 100 events spread out across town over five days, the entire town turns out and joins in at some point. And while there are some family-friendly activities, most of the events are geared toward adults and centered around a love of drinking beer. The bars are packed with people in costume as trivia, drinking games, joint rolling competitions, and eating contests are underway. On top of all that are fashion shows, sports contests, hot air balloons, a parade, and a firework show!

Steamboat Winter Carnival

When: February 7th – 11th, 2018
Where: Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Started as a way for residents to cope with the cabin fever during the height of winter, the Steamboat Winter Carnival continues as a way for neighbors to get together and celebrate winter. During the carnival, you’ll find people riding shovels being pulled down main street or skiers jumping through fiery hoops. Saturday and Sunday night highlight the event with Winter Carnival Street Events and the Night Show Extravaganza. The Steamboat Winter Carnival is a wonderful way for everyone to experience a little bit of Ski Town USA!

Frozen Dead Guy Days

When: March 9th- 11th, 2018
Where: Nederland, Colorado

Frozen Dead Guy Days is known as one of the quirkiest festivals across the country. This chilly fest commemorates Bredo Morstol, who is frozen in an eternal state of suspension and housed in a Tuff Shed on dry ice high above Nederland. With events such as coffin racing, the polar plunge, frozen salmon toss, a silent disco, and over 30 live bands, it’s easy to see why festival goers come from far and wide to be part of this strange tradition.

Tagged Under: Local Events

Mara Calomino


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