9 Winter Festivals Across Colorado
This season's festivals offer many ways to frolick in the snow
January 13-16: Now in its 71st year, ASPEN’S WINTERSKÖL, literally “a toast to winter,” is an eclectic four-day festival for the whole family. Traditional events across town and all four mountains include a snow sculpture competition, canine fashion show, torchlight parade on Aspen Mountain followed by a fireworks extravaganza and more. Admission is free.
January 20-23: Celebrate the tantalizing sport of ice climbing at THE OURAY ICE FESTIVAL. Watch the world’s best ice and mixed-climbing talent battle for the prize in Elite Mixed and Speed Climbing competitions. Also on the agenda: parties, exhibitions and clinics ($199) for climbers of all skill levels.
January 21-23: Head to the PAGOSA SPRINGS WINTERFEST for an activity-packed weekend complete with hot-air balloon mass ascensions, sled races, a fat tire bike race, the ever-popular penguin plunge and much more. Tickets required for some events.
January 24-30: Larger-than-life snow sculptures take center stage at the BRECKENRIDGE INTERNATIONAL SNOW SCULPTURE CHAMPIONSHIPS as teams from around the world work to transform 20-ton blocks of snow into frosty masterpieces. View teams in action January 24-28 and the finished products January 28-30. Free and open to the public.
January 28-30: Celebrate winter Viking style at ULLRGRASS in Golden. Enjoy concerts featuring a diverse lineup of bluegrass, newgrass, funk and jam band artists throughout the weekend, a craft beer and cider festival on Saturday afternoon, and Family Day on Sunday with performances, a costume parade, craft activities and games. Tickets from $15-$450.
February 9-13: Skiers jumping through fiery hoops, adults on shovels being pulled by horses down main street, torchlight parades down the slopes and fireworks are all part of the hoopla at the STEAMBOAT SPRINGS WINTER CARNIVAL. A $10 Winter Carnival button, benefitting the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, is required for entry and spectating at all events.
February 12: Sample sweets from the region’s finest chocolatiers, taste pours from a variety of wineries, and enjoy a romantic weekend at the ESTES PARK WINE AND CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL. Full-price tickets ($40 per person, $70 per couple) include chocolate sampling, complimentary pours, and a souvenir wine glass and tote bag.
February 25-26: Enjoy scrumptious gumbo made by professional chefs and amateur cooks as they compete in the MUMBO JUMBO GUMBO COOK-OFF in Manitou Springs. Low-priced tastings at 11 a.m. are followed by the annual Carnivale Parade in downtown Manitou Springs at 1:00 p.m. Admission ranges from $1-$30.
February 25-27: Celebrate winter with three days of authentic bluegrass music and Colorado craft beer at the WINTER WONDER GRASS FESTIVAL in Steamboat Springs, featuring 20 Colorado craft breweries, more than 25 bands and a colorful kids’ zone with face painting, hula hooping and crafts. Tickets from $159-$399; under 12 and over 75, free.