The Best Winter Festivals for Frying-Pan Throws and Seal-Sled Racing
Check out at least one of these four
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Ullr Fest, January 6-12
WHERE: Breckenridge, Colorado
January marks the 50th anniversary of Colorado’s wackiest festival, during which Breckenridge is transformed into an 11th-century Viking hamlet, complete with horned helmets, plenty of flasks, and the Ullympics, which features a frying-pan throw and wooden-ski race.
Fire and Ice Winter Fest, February 1-3
WHERE: Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
This gala includes a costumed Polar Bear Float down the icy Portneuf River and the Running of the Bulls, in which locals don underwear and Uggs for a jog to the town’s 112-degree hot springs.
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, February 1-10
WHERE: Saranac Lake, New York
The longest-running winter festival on the East Coast, the carnival celebrates its 116th birthday with music, parades, fireworks, broomball, and the Lighting of the Ice Palace, built with frozen blocks harvested from nearby Lake Flower. This year’s theme: Under the Sea.
Slush Cup Weekend, March 2-3
WHERE: Bellaire, Michigan
Held on northwest Michigan’s Schuss Mountain, the Slush Cup kicks off with a costumed ski race across a 40-foot melting pond and includes a seal-sled race that sends garbage-bag-clad contestants bombing down a hill.