Why You Should go to the Snow Sculpting Championships

Last year I finally got the opportunity to attend the International Snow Sculpting Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado. I’d known about the event for years and wondered if it would live up to the hype.

We were booked at the Village at Breckenridge and our room overlooked the parking lot in which the snow sculpting teams were working on their creations.

We were lucky enough to stay for long enough to watch the sculptures as they were carved into their various final compositions.

As we watched the sculptures take shape over several days I was blown away by the size and intricacy of each piece. The photographs I had seen of this event, while amazing, just simply hadn’t done it justice. Seeing this event in person is truly astounding.

1st place Team Lithuania at the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado. HeidiTown (1)

1st place Team Lithuania at the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado 2015.

1st place Team Lithuania at the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado. HeidiTown (7)

1st place Team Lithuania 2015

This year’s event International Snow Sculpting Championships run Jan. 18 through February 7, 2016. The ideal time to visit, in my opinion, is Jan. 26-30 while the sculptures are being created, especially Jan. 29 when the teams work late into the night to finish their pieces. Watching the sculptures come to life, so to speak, is quite astonishing. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Telluride Fire Festival (Jan. 14-18, 2016)

This was the most unique winter festival we attended last year. It’s a spectacle of creativity and fire and must be experienced to be truly understood. And, the fact that it’s held in Telluride is a big bonus.

Part Burning Man, part community party, 2015 was the inaugural year of Telluride Fire Festival. The first thing we witnessed on our first night in town was El Pulpo Mecanico. I’ll admit, this fire breathing art car was one of the most amazing things I’ve witnessed in my nearly 40 years on this planet.

Featured Festival Telluride Fire Festival 2016 El Pulpo Mecanico

Photo courtesy of Telluride Fire Festival.

Telluride Fire Festival is broken into various piece. There are free events held in the Town of Telluride and in Mountain Village. There are also ticket events. Last year, March Fourth put on an outstanding ticketed show during Telluride Fire Festival.

There are also festival workshops. You can learn to weld or spin fire (yes, fire!). Some workshops have a fee while others are free. See a list of them here.

Dozens of artists come to town for this festival. From fire spinners to DJs to dance troupes, you won’t be able to toss a snowball without hitting an artist during Telluride Fire Festival. This is what makes it one of the most inspiration winter festivals in Colorado. See a list of participating artists here.

FractalTribePerformer#2ByRyanBonneau (1)

Photo provided by Telluride Fire Festival. Photographer, Ryan Bonneau.

During the day you can participate in workshops or visit participating art galleries around Telluride, or you can ski or take a yoga class. That’s the beauty of Telluride, there’s a lot to do in this beautiful town.

Each night of fire festival there will be an event to warm you up including a dance party on Friday with Rob Garza, a Costume Fire Ball on Saturday and a fire-spinning party on Sunday.

A VIP event takes place Thursday evening and only those who purchase an All Access Pass will be allowed into this private reception.

An All Access Pass is just $195 (must be 21 or older to purchase). Purchase your pass here. Tickets to individual events are also available.

Telluride Fire Festival fire breathing dragon. HeidiTown.com

While some events are 21 and older, in general this is a festival for anyone who seeks to ignite a creative fire within their soul. I guarantee that something you see, hear or feel at Telluride Fire Festival will spark your imagination.

Telluride Fire Festival

January 14-18, 2016

Telluride, Colorado

Free & ticketed


Join Telluride Fire Festival on Facebook

Join Telluride Fire Festival on Twitter

Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at a Colorado ski resort

Want to get high in Colorado this New Year’s Eve? It’s super easy and I’m not referring to a drug induced high. If you were to fly high above the Rocky Mountains on New Year’s Eve, you’d see an array of fireworks, from Steamboat Springs to Telluride the mountains would be covered in sparkling flashes of color.

 ©Arthur Balluff  Breckenridge Tourism Office

©Arthur Balluff Breckenridge Tourism Office

New Year’s Eve in  Breckenridge

Breckenridge, Colorado knows how to put on a party and New Year’s eve is no exception. Fireworks over Peak 9 start at 9 p.m., but prior to the show your kids are invited to take part in the Glow Worm Parade – it’s like a torchlight parade, except the kids are skiing on the greens with glow sticks instead of fire. Registration starts at 5 p.m. at the Beaver Run Ski & Snowboard School and the parade starts at 5:45 p.m. This is an experience your little ones won’t soon forget. Continue reading

Fall beer festivals in Colorado

Fall Back Beer Fest 2014. HeidiTown (1)The Great American Beer Festival may be over, but that doesn’t mean Coloradans stop celebrating craft beer. We celebrate all year long.

Here are a few fall beer festivals that are sure to tickle your taste buds.

Fall Back Beer Festival, Estes Park, October 31, 2015


Ryan and I attended this event last year and it was one of our favorite festivals of last year. Held at the new Estes Park Events Center & Pavilion, what sets this festival apart are the educational seminars and home brewing demonstrations.

This is a Sip & Learn type of beer festival and I highly approve of this type of format. Of course, you can just come and drink, but I’d encourage you to take advantage of the free seminars. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Estes Park Winter Festival (Jan. 16-19, 2015)

If you like to eat and drink as much as I do, then you need to attend the Estes Park Winter Festival. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, but once a year I get gluttonous at this fest and I make no apologies for it.

Estes Park Winter Festival, Estes Park, Colorado

The event was cancelled last year because the Stanley Park Fairground was undergoing renovations, but this year it’s back and bigger than ever and will be held at the beautiful, brand new Estes Park Events Complex.

I’ve been attending this festival since year one and have watched it grow from a small, grassroots downtown chili cook-off and beer tasting event to a larger version of the same thing. Despite attracting big crowds every year, the organizers have been able to keep a laid back, hometown feel to the event, which I really enjoy.

Avery Beer at EPWF

The festivities start on Friday, January 16 with an Irish Gathering brought to you by the Rocky Mountain Irish Gathering. The band, The Commoners will perform as will bag piper Daniel Lowell and the McTeggart Irish Stepdancers. This evening of Irish fun runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and is $15 at the door.

On Saturday and Sunday festivalgoers will enjoy an event that I consider one of the top winter festivals in Colorado. Inside the events complex you’ll find more than 30 different beer and wine vendors offering samples, as well as loads of chili to taste (both green and red). Professionals and amateurs complete for various coveted Best Chili awards – and you get to vote.

When I say that I “eat my way through Estes Park Winter Festival” I am not exaggerating. You will taste some downright amazing, earth-shakingly good chilis at this event.

chili cook off pic Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown (2)

Estes Park Chili Festival. HeidiTown.com

“The spicier the better” – that’s my motto!

In addition to all the eating and drinking there’s a full lineup of entertainment at the fest including two Colorado bands,  White Water Ramble and Archie Funker. We heard White Water Ramble play at a beer festival this summer and they are not a favorite of ours.

There are vendors at the fest selling their wares, and in addition Rocky Mountain National Park will be there to share their expert knowledge on outdoor winter adventures, do equipment demos, offer winter safety tips and information about the park.

Stick around for giveaways that include an annual pass to RMNP, snow cat tours and more.

Your children are very welcome at this event. There’s an entire pavilion at the Estes Park Events Complex that will be dedicated just to kids. Lots of activities will be available from slapstick hockey to a snowboard simulator. Your kiddos will not get bored at the Estes Park Winter Festival.

A very happy kiddo at Estes Park Winter Festival 2012.

A very happy kiddo at Estes Park Winter Festival 2012.

If you decide to spend the holiday weekend in town why not stick around for Monday’s events. There are free, family friendly activities planned next to the ice skating rink located in downtown Estes Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Estes Park Winter Festival

Martin Luther King Day Weekend

January 16-19, 2015

Estes Park Events Complex at  1209 Manford Avenue

You’ll need to purchase tickets online for the festival events taking place on Saturday and Sunday. Go HERE to purchase tickets today!

Join Visit Estes Park on Facebook

On Twitter @VisitEstesPark



Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

Tweets from my Ullr Fest adventures in Breckenridge, Colorado

A fellow travel blogger once called me “a tweeting fool,” and she’s right. I love Twitter, and when I’m on a trip I tweet regularly. My twitter account is not hooked up to HeidiTown’s Facebook page, but it is hooked up to Instagram, Foursquare and Pinterest, so whenever I post a pic or check-in somewhere, a tweet informs my followers of my whereabouts.

I decided that it would be fun to share all my tweets, including any photos that were attached to the tweet, from my 3-night stay in Breckenridge, Colorado for Ullr Festival, since not every blog reader follows me on Twitter.

It’s an interesting and entertaining look at my travels, so without further ado, here’s the Mayor’s tweets from Breckenridge, Colorado during Ullr Festival 2014. I am not including my RTs or twitter interactions with other folks because this list is long enough as is!!!

Tweets from Breckenridge, January 9, 2014:

@HeidiTown:   Woohoo! #Breck or bust. 🙂 #ULLR #Colorado

@HeidiTown:   (Foursquare check-in) I’m at Eisenhower Tunnel (CO) [pic]: http://4sq.com/1aiP6Mh  

@HeidiTown:   It’s snow shining right now in #Frisco, #Colorado. That’s when it is #snowing & the sun is shining. #love

@HeidiTown: (Foursquare check-in) Big fan of their pizza! (@ Fatty’s Pizzeria) http://4sq.com/1a4dMHJ  

@HeidiTown:   (Instagram Pic) Happy Ullr Fest!!! #Colorado #ULLR #viking #snow #envythehorns #breckbecause

Heidi at Fatty's during Ullr Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

@HeidiTown: (Foursquare check-in) well this is very nice!!! @GrandTimberCo #Colorado #lodging #travel (@ Grand Timber Lodge – @grandtimberco) http://4sq.com/1a4LuwV  

Tweets from Breckenridge, January 10, 2014:

@HeidiTown:   (Instagram pic) We broke the #shotski record in #Breckenridge last night!!! #Colorado #Ullr #breckbecause

breaking the shotski record with Breckenridge Distillery at Ullr Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Continue reading

Come party with Ullr & I in Breck

Yep, it’s that time of year again, Ullr Festival is almost here. This crazy event takes place for an entire week (January 5-11, 2014). We attended for the first time last year, when I was asked to be a judge of the Ullr Festival Parade. I’m judging again this year and I can’t wait.

Breckenridge Distillery at Ullr Festival 2013. HeidiTown.com (2)

Breckenridge Distillery representing at Ullr Festival 2013.

Ryan and I loved every minute of Ullr Festival and we made friends everywhere we went – in bars, in hot tubs and on the slopes. We bought Ullr a beer at The Gold Pan Saloon, and we got free beer for ourselves just by raise our hands at Downstairs at Eric’s.   Continue reading

Photos of the 2013 Ullr Festival Parade (Breckenridge, Colorado)

If you’ve been paying attention, by now you probably know that I was invited by GoBreck to judge the 50th Annual Ullr Festival parade last week in Breckenridge, Colorado.

After looking through our parade photos, taken mostly by my husband, Ryan, I just had to share a few of our favorites with you.

Here are photos from the Ullr Festival parade on Thursday, January 10, 2013:

kids in sleds at Ullr Parade HeidiTown 2013

If there had been a prize for “cutest float,” this would have won it.

fat guy on bike Ullr parade 2013 HeidiTown

This is a good time to tell you that it was COLD out! Really, really cold.

Guys riding keg skis Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

The Ullr Festival parade is way more entertaining than your average 4th of July parade.

Heid Judging at Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

It’s fun being a judge! My hands were cold, but my helmet was AWESOME!

Dancing viking woman Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

This gal was having A LOT of fun!

Viking gals at Ullr parade 2013 HeidiTown

There are lots of viking women at Ullr Festival in very little clothing.

Grand Lodge float the 1000 dollar winner at Ullr parade 2013 Heiditown

This float by Grand Lodge took home first place & won $1000.

Snow Globe at Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

The Good Times Adventures Snow Globe float was my favorite & they won 2nd place.

filled float Ullr parade 2013 Heiditown

Floats full of shiny, happy people.

not really a fire dancer cool shot at Ullr parade 2013 HeidiTown

One of my favorite photos from Ullr Festival parade.


A huge thank you to GoBreck for asking me to participate in this wacky week of fun in Breckenridge, Colorado!!!

Featured Festival: Estes Park Winter Festival (Jan. 18-21, 2013)

Four years ago, Ryan and I decided to go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park, and afterwards we stopped in Estes Park and stumbled into what has become one of our favorite winter festivals.

Me & Jack at Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

Goofing around with Jack at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

At that time the Estes Park Winter Festival was a small affair, a lot of local cooks serving up chili and just a few beer and wine vendors, but what fun we had. We tasted every chili under the tent and then, like kids, took pictures all around the ice castle in the park.

We’ve watched this event grow and grow, but the organizers have done a great job keeping it organized. Why is it a favorite? We love chili – who doesn’t? And we love beer. This event combines beer, wine and chili and new this year, mac “˜n’ cheese. Yes, in addition to the massively popular chili cook off that pits restaurant against restaurant and amateur cook against amateur cook, the event organizers have added a mac “˜n’ cheese cook off.

chili cook off pic Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

A chili taster at the Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

Not only do guests of the fest get to taste all the chili and mac “˜n’ cheese, they get to vote for their favorites. So put your New Year’s resolution on hold and go crazy!

Another great feature of Winter Festival is that it really is fun for all ages. There are activities for kids that include ice skating and an amazing interactive ice castle. Last year we attended Winter Fest with friends who have two little boys. The ice castle kept them entertained for hours.   There’s even more fun for the kiddos this year including a toboggan run and an interactive snow globe.

Having fun in and on the ice castle at Winter Festival 2012 Heiditown

Our friends' kids love the interactive ice castle at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

4th Annual Estes Park Winter Festival

Location: Fairgrounds at Stanley Park

Date: January 18-21, 2013

Festivities get underway on Friday with the FREE Ceilidh Barn Dance that includes live music, a caller, dancing, a bar and more.

Saturday & Sunday enjoy the MAIN (ticketed) event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., it’s the Block Party across from Bond Park at the ice skating rink. There will be pony rides, a petting zoo, balloon artist and FREE ice skating. Monday is also a FREE day at Rocky Mountain National Park.

For the entire lineup of events & to buy tickets go to


Featured Festival: 50th Annual Ullr Festival (Breckenridge, Colorado)

Ullr Fest in Breckenridge Colorado by Carl Scofield

Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo by Carl Scofield. Provided by GoBreck.com.

Party like a viking with me in Breckenridge, Colorado!

For half a century the people of Breckenridge have been donning horns and participating in a huge party inspired by Ullr, the Norse God of Winter. In Europe, Ullr is the Guardian of Skiers, and the gods know I will need him during my skiing adventure in Breckenridge this season.

Originally developed as a party for the people of Breckenridge, Ullr Festival has expanded over the years, although it is still a homegrown event. The party got started in 1963, and today it is a week long festival with all kinds of wacky traditions.

I will be attending Ullr Festival this year and I’m looking forward to a crazy party.

The 50th Ullr Festival runs January 6-12, 2013, and the schedule from GoBreck is as follows:

Sunday, Jan. 6 – Crowning of the Ullr King & Queen (6-9pm)
Toast to 50 years of fun with free beer and live music by The Luv Brothers. New location for 2013 – Breckenridge Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave. FREE

Monday, Jan. 7 – Family Night  new (3:30 – 5:30pm)
Bring the kids for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, indoor activities and a family-friendly bonfire at the Gold Run Nordic Center on Tiger Road. FREE

Tuesday, Jan. 8 – Ullympics (6 – 8pm)  

Partake in wild events such as the frying pan toss, group ski racing and ski boot relay. FREE

Mayor’s note: I can’t WAIT for this evening!

Wednesday, Jan. 9 – Ullr Dating Game

Join local radio station KSMT and all the singles in town for Breckenridge’s 21+ version of the Dating Game at  Cecilias. To apply to be a bachelor/bachelorette, call KSMT at 970-453-2234 ext. 20. FREE

Thursday, Jan. 10 – Ullr Fest parade and town bonfire  (Parade starts at 4:30pm, Bonfire 5-7pm, and Fireworks at 7pm)

The centerpiece of the week, the Ullr Fest parade showcases Breckenridge’s style of wild winter fun – past floats have included dogsled teams, hot tubs, a ski jump and more. A town bonfire and fireworks follow the parade. FREE

Mayor’s note: I’m either going to help judge the parade or I may actually ride on a float. I better pick up a pair of great Viking horns, pronto!  

Friday, Jan. 11 – Comedy night:

Comedy Works comics descend on Breckenridge for a night of big laughs at  Beaver Run Resort.

Saturday, Jan. 12 – Ullr Fashion Show: Close out the week with a Viking-themed costume contest at the Park Avenue Pub.

To keep tabs on all the fun stuff happening in Breckenridge during the winter or any other time of year, go to GoBreck.com.



The first glimpse of what I’ll be sporting at Ullr Festival this year.

Ullr helmet heiditown 2013

Photo via HeidiTown on Instagram




Check out my travel column in Mountain Living magazine online

Subscribe to HeidiTown.com!
Latest Pins on Pinterest
  • Follow Me on Pinterest