Ull (Old Norse Ullr): “In old Scandinavian myth, Ull (“glory”) is the god of justice and dueling, as well as the patron god of agriculture. He excels in archery and in skiing and lives in his hall Ydalir (“yew dales”). He is regarded as the son of Sif and the stepson of Thor. When the giantess Skadi divorced Njord she married Ull.”
Here in Summit County (more specifically, Breckenridge…) we like to simplify Ullr’s legend so that the emphasis is placed on SKIING, thereby making him the Snow God in a somewhat roundabout way. Ullr’s reign over Summit County began back in 1963 when it is rumored that Ullr’s travels brought him to Breck, bringing with him some big POW days. Locals came together in celebration to thank Ullr for the 300+ inches of snow (can you even imagine?!) that the area was blessed with each winter.
50 years later Ullr veneration is still among us in the form of Ullr Fest, a week-long festival in downtown Breckenridge, designed to win the Norse God’s favor and bring snow to the slopes.
The week kicks off with the crowning of the King and Queen (this year the honor went to locals Dave and Cindy Love) and follows with events such as the Ullympics, free beer, Ullr Fashion Shows, free beer, Family Night, Ullr Parade and bonfire, oh and free beer. Ullr Fest brings to the street a multitude of big hats with horns, furry bikinis, wild partying whilst wearing said big hats and furry bikinis, oh and we cannot forget the Ullr dances.
I worked nights all week, so the only Ullr events that I was able to attend were the Parade and Bonfire. I tagged along with the mayor of Breck (I mean, Erik) and his entourage, wearing the best and brightest in “gaper” onsies and had the time of my life. Words cannot express the craziness that ensued, but hopefully the below photo montage will do the evening some justice.
For more photos click here…it’s worth it, I promise.
Happy Ullr everyone!
**Note, we got 2″ of snow yesterday so all the dancing in the street did something! Party on Ullr!