Navigate the Snow Sculptures Like a Pro – Sending it with Ellie

Ellie Hartman, BreckInsider's newest Blogger

*Editors Note – This is the first post by BreckInsider’s newest blogger, longtime local Ellie Hartman. Welcome to the team Ellie! Here she is pictured during some of her travels…


The International Snow Sculpting Competition week in Breckenridge, CO is an exquisite event!

Snow Sculptures 2018 Monkey - BTO_Austyn Dineen
Photo Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office

It has remained a staple for artists to come carve their master piece ideas into the snow and ultimately the hearts of the people in this booming mountain town. 16 separate teams started this week with their 20-ton snow block and are vigorously cutting, carving, and smoothing their visions into reality in hopes of winning a spot on the podium. This free art show extravaganza has been a successful festivity for 29 years now and has continued to evolve over those years. The evolution of this competition has not only opened the eyes to what snow lovers can do with snow but has carried other lively activities into the town for the eventful week. 

Snow Sculptures - BreckInsider_Ellie Hartman
Photo Credit: BreckInsider / Ellie Hartman

People always wonder what other activities they can divulge into after they become chilled from the breathtaking walk through the Snow Sculpting display.

Ladies and gents, the fun does not need to end at the snow sculpting event. In Breckenridge this weekend only, there are over 20 various shows in town (from live music and DJs to local theatre and a fireworks display) and Main Street is always booming with happy hours, music, shopping, as well as, delicious bites. 

Snow Sculptures Flags - BreckInsider_Ellie Hartman
Photo Credit: BreckInsider / Ellie Hartman

After living in Breckenridge for 24 years, I have had the pleasure of experiencing the Snow Sculpting Competition each year that I have been in attendance. Thus, I will dive into my local perspective on how to get the absolute most out of your viewing weekend at the Snow Sculpture Competition.

Remember, ALL the happy hours, parties, live music, and fun things to do in Breck, are always available at BreckInsider.com.

Snow Sculptures 2018 - BTO_Austyn Dineen
Photo Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office

Friday, January 25th, 2019

The artists will have to finish up their closing details of their master piece and ‘throw in the towel’ at 9:00 A.M. sharp on Friday, January 25th. Immediately the artists will be judged with their fingers crossed for a spot on the podium. Therefore, as a spectator I would take this day to ski, sled, snowshoe, or indulge in any winter activity that appeals to you.

Snow Sculptures 2018 Woman- BTO_Austyn Dineen
Photo Credit: Breckenridge Tourism Office

After your day of fun in this outdoor playground, I would grab dinner early. This is a great time to beat the dinner rush crowds and have a group with full, happy bellies for the Snow Sculpture Viewing.

Check out the expansive menu and historic setting at Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar, or check out some hidden gems in La Cima Mall on the south end of town. Belle V. offers French cuisine in a beautiful atmosphere and Peak of Asia offers some of the freshest cuisine in town.

Then make your way to the sculptures to see what the artists accomplished. Do not miss out on the awards at 6:00PM, an acrobatic cirque show at 7:00PM, and the light show illumination at 7:30PM. After the excitement, I would take a stroll heading north down Main Street. Peek into a few of the awesome and unique stores before warming up with one of my favorite cocktails in town, the Irish Coffee from Après Handcrafted Libations. This hot and energetic beverage (made with homemade Irish Cream), will perk you right up for all the live music, DJs and parties revving up in town!

Apres Handcrafted Libations - Logo on Wall

Bar hopping is very much advised so that you do not miss out on gaining a well-rounded view of the nightlife. Napper Tandy’s opens up the dance floor for lady’s night, where ladies drink free until 11P.M. I am all about live music, therefore I would have to flip a coin to choose between The Historic Brown for the band, The Science Project (Rock, Funk, Hip-hop, and Reggae) or The Motherloaded Tavern for Primal J and The Neanderthals (Funk, Rock, and Reggae). Of course, there’s always the urge to cut loose on the dance floor of the historic Gold Pan Saloon. While they typically feature DJs and dancing going late every Friday and Saturday night, tonight they have a special live event with local cover band extraordinaire, El Paso Lasso (mix of 80’s, 90’s, & Today), rocking out all night!

Historic Brown - Band and Dancers

Saturday, January 26th, 2019 

Today I would scarf down a large breakfast because it will be a day full of absolute excitement!

Take the day to enjoy another fun-filled mountainous activity. Then send it on the town and warm up by Blue Stag Saloon’s large outdoor firepit and enjoy an après happy hour from 3-5pm, featuring $2 beers, $4 wines and well drinks, and specials on their amazing menu featuring wood-fired pizza, wings, and more sophisticated fare like truffle fries, pan-seared brussel sprouts and blistered shishito peppers.

Blue Stag Saloon Pizza Oven

After a satisfying happy hour (don’t forget to tip on the original!), I would head on over to the Riverwalk Center for a booming Firework show at 6:00PM and a live, free concert by El Paso Lasso at 6:30PM. If you did not get enough of the rockin’ El Paso Lasso band, they will move onto the Motherloaded Tavern for another, even rowdier set at 9:30 PM. If you are in the mood for a different sound, head to the south end of Main Street where Liquid Lounge will have DJ CLOCKWERK spinning until the town shuts down on a new, state-of-the-art lighting and sound system. There’s “enough bass to make your heart pop outta your chest,” according to owner Phil Palmer!

El Paso Lasso Cover Band Breckenridge Colorado

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

Sunday will definitely be your day to wind down after shredding the town of Breckenridge.

Start the day off right with a late brunch and a little hair of the dog at Tiki Mana Island Grill (tucked away but located just steps from the center of town), Sancho Tacos & Tequila (egg/avocado tacos!), or the classic local diner, Columbine Café. If you still have the energy and leg strength left hit the slopes for a few runs! If not, book an appointment at one of the many award-winning spas. Blue Sage Spa in town offers a full array of services, and at The Spa at Beaver Run you can cap off the massage with a dip in their spa-guest-only hot tubs with a complimentary glass of wine.

Tiki Mana Island Grill - Tropical Cocktail

The Snow Sculptures will remain open 24 hours a day until January 30th, so you can still enjoy the beauty of the carved-out art during your Sunday stroll through town. At the end of your Sunday I would recommend getting a ticket to the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre to watch the new love story “Almost, Maine.” Another fun option is to head off of Main Street, down Airport Road, to enjoy either an Acoustic Set at the Broken Compass, by Tina Ferguson at 7:00PM or fire up your brain for trivia night at the Breckenridge Distillery.

Breckenridge Backstage Theater at Night - Elaine Collins
Breckenridge Backstage Theater at Night. Photo Credit: Elaine Collins

For more fun in Breckenridge, be sure to check out the Events, Parties and Live Music Calendar on BreckInsider!

Visit our friends at GoBreck for the official schedule and details about the International Snow Sculpture Championships.

Enjoy your week of the International Snow Sculpture Competition 2019! 

-Ellie Hartman


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Ellie Hartman
Ellie Hartman was born and raised in Breckenridge, Colorado. She spent 4 years in Miami getting her Master’s in Business, soaking up the sun, shredding dance floors, and Rowing NCAA Crew. After almost another year spent backpacking around the world, she has recently returned to Breck, full of wanderlust and a thirst for life! Ellie enjoys skiing, yoga, great coffee, travel, SCUBA Diving, anything outdoors, delicious beer, and happy people. She is very excited to be back in Breckenridge to shred some runs, enjoy our lively town, and write for BreckInsider about the awesome events to "send it to!"