Coloradans don’t head inside when the weather gets cold and the snow starts falling — we celebrate! Winter carnivals, ice-carving competitions and lighting ceremonies are some of the ways we live the season to the fullest.
Coloradans consider winter our most privileged season, and we love to celebrate all that comes with it at winter carnivals across the state.
Vail Snow Daze: Dec. 2013
This bash welcomes the ski and snowboard season with a Dummy Demolition Derby, free concerts and a rockin’ street fair in Vail Village. Last year’s headliners featured Weezer, O.A.R. and Dwight Yoakam.
12 Days of Aspen: Dec. 2013
Concerts, carriage rides and caroling fill Aspen with family fun. Ice-skating, a snowman-making contest, a bonfire, fireworks and Aspen Academy Screenings add to the revelry.
Grand Winter Sports Carnival: Dec. 2013–Feb. 2014
Fraser, Granby, Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling and Winter Park hold a six-week celebration of winter sports with ski-jumping competitions, fireworks, snow-sculpture contests, skijoring (dogs and horses), a fishing tournament, toboggan races and much more.
Estes Park Winter Festival: Jan. 2014
Downtown Estes Park glows with winter lights, and winter fun includes a chili cook-off, scavenger hunt, snowshoe event, igloo making, stargazing, carriage rides and tons of other family activities.
Steamboat Springs' Winter Carnival: Feb. 2014
Steamboat has reveled in their bounty of trademark Champagne Powder since 1914. The carnival features ski-jumping competitions, dog-sled pulls, cross-country obstacle races, a tubing party and a spectacular fireworks display.
Though they don’t linger too long during Colorado’s sunny winter months, frozen masterpieces created by gifted ice artisans leave a lasting impression.
Ouray Ice Festival: Jan. 2014
Though it’s an ice festival of a different sort, Ouray’s celebration is one of the most spectacular. Each year, 3,000 climbers descend on the town to ascend the Ouray Ice Park’s mile-long frozen gorge, while spectators watch in amazement.
Budweiser International Snow Sculpting Championship: Jan.–Feb. 2014
Teams from around the world spend a week in Breckenridge gently coaxing intricate sculptures out of 20-ton blocks of snow.
OTHER FREE WINTER EVENTS
Check out our Colorado events calendar.