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9 Best Winter Festivals in Colorado

Coloradans and tourists alike understand the beauty of Colorado during the winter season. Therefore winter is celebrated through a number of winter festivals found around the state. Watch a parade, listen to live music, and participant in outdoor activities, all with a stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Experience winter this season at one of these best winter festivals in Colorado.

Ullr Fest, Breckenridge Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, Colorado
Credit: Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, Colorado by gobreck.com

Ullr Fest, Breckenridge

This festival in Breckenridge is one of the most popular winter events in this Colorado ski town. Drawing over 10,000 people, this four-day event celebrates the Norse God of Snow, Ullr. Ullr Fest has occurred every year for more than 50 years. The first day of Ullr Fest kicks off with a parade down Main Street, where unique floats and incredible skiers are showcased. The fest also features a massive bonfire and the Ullr Ice Plunge.

Dates: December 8th-11th, 2022

Steamboat Winter Carnival, Steamboat Springs Steamboat Winter Carnival
Credit: Steamboat Winter Carnival by steamboatchamber.com

Steamboat Winter Carnival, Steamboat Springs

This winter festival in Steamboat Springs grew out of a desire to stay entertained during the long winters here. Now more than 100 years later, Steamboat Winter Carnival is still celebrated. Witness brave skiers “skijoring” down Main Street, meaning that skiers are pulled by horses or simply watch the ski-jumping competitions. This February event also features a fireworks display and other fun activities for both kids and adults.

Dates: February 8th – 12th, 2023

Estes Park Winter Festival, Estes Park Estes Park
Credit: Estes Park by visitestespark.com

Estes Park Winter Festival, Estes Park

The Estes Park Winter Festival is full of fun activities. From a chili cook-off to live music to snowsport demos, this winter festival is a great way to embrace the cold weather. There is also a parade, beer tastings, ice skating, and a number of vendors selling goods and food. Although the Estes Park Winter Festival offers a number of things to do during your stay in Estes Park, the town is also home to Rocky Mountain National Park, which offers a gorgeous escape from the festival crowds.

Dates: Canceled for 2022

Ouray Ice Festival, Ouray Ice climbing in Ouray
Credit: Ice climbing in Ouray by ourayicepark.com

Ouray Ice Festival, Ouray

This festival in Ouray, Colorado, was made for climbing enthusiasts. Ice climbing is a popular pastime in this Colorado town. Therefore there would be no better place to host an ice climbing festival than in Ouray. The Ouray Ice Festival draws professional and amateur ice climbers every January. With gear exhibits and demos, live music and plenty of food, this ice climbing festival highlights this unique winter activity. Even if you don’t climb, you can still watch the climbing competition up the icy gorge in Ouray.

Dates: January 19th – 22rd, 2023

Frozen Dead Guy Days, Nederland Frozen Dead Guy Days
Credit: Frozen Dead Guy Days by Frozen Dead Guy Days

Frozen Dead Guy Days, Nederland

Frozen Dead Guy Days is one of the most unique winter festivals not only on this list but within the state of Colorado. This festival honors Bredo Morstel, a cryogenically frozen man who has a unique history attached to the town of Nederland. This offbeat festival is a true reflection of this offbeat town. During the festival, you’ll find coffin races, decorated hearses, a frozen T-shirt contest, and other unconventional events. With beer, food and live music, too, Frozen Dead Guy Days is a winter festival you will never forget.

Dates: Canceled for 2023

Copper Uncorked, Copper Mountain Copper Uncorked
Credit: Copper Uncorked by coppercolorado.com

Copper Uncorked, Copper Mountain

March may seem like a time for spring, but in the town of Copper snow still covers the slopes here. Copper Uncorked, located at Copper Mountain, is a wing and wine festival. Wings are crafted by local chefs, and attendees will be pleased to find some of the best chicken wings they’ve ever eaten at Copper Uncorked. Gourmet wings and local wine are the two things to expect from this winter Colorado event.

Date: TBD

Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywine Festival, Breckenridge Breckenridge
Credit: Breckenridge by bigstock.com

Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywine Festival, Breckenridge

Craft beer lovers flock to Colorado often due to the state’s high number of microbreweries. And Colorado’s enthusiasm for craft beer doesn’t stop just because winter has arrived. Find your new favorite beer at this winter festival in Breckenridge called Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywine Festival. No matter if you’re a master brewer or a just a casual beer drinker, there is a lot to experience at this beer fest. From tastings to seminars, this Breckenridge festival celebrates Colorado’s finest brews.

Dates: Canceled for 2023, rescheduled for January 4 – 6, 2024

Rio Frio Ice Fest, Alamosa Rio Frio Ice Fest
Credit: Rio Frio Ice Fest by Rio Frio Ice Fest

Rio Frio Ice Fest, Alamosa

Head to Alamosa, Colorado this January to attend the Rio Frio Ice Fest. The Rio Frio Ice Fest brings Alamosa to life during the wintertime. This January festival celebrates winter in a number of ways. Ice sculpting and snowman building contests draw a number of festival-goers every year. However, the Rio Frio 5K polar plunge is another highlight for many Coloradans and fellow winter lovers.

Dates: January 27th – 29th, 2023

Winterfest, Pagosa Springs Winterfest in Pagosa Springs
Credit: Winterfest in Pagosa Springs by pagosachamber.com

Winterfest, Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs is a wonderful place to spend winter, especially during the Winterfest in January. This festival features plenty of events, from sled races to a mass hot air balloon ascension. Many locals and tourists alike participant in the “Penguin Plunge” into the San Juan River. From ice skating to fat tire biking, this winter festival celebrates not only the winter season but also winter recreation.

Dates: January 22nd – 23rd, 2022

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