Breckenridge Ice Carving Festival

Every year, Budweiser along with Cadillac sponsor a Breckenridge ice carving festival. The annual event is usually held in January. Continue reading for more information about how you can enjoy a Breckenridge ice carving festival…


The ice carvings and snow sculptures are located around the RiverwalkCenter at 150 West Adams Avenue near Main Street. You can easily get to and from here by taking a gondola ride, driving, using a bus or the chair lift ride. The gondola is a 7,592-foot ride between the town and the skiing resort and takes about 10 minutes to complete. During your travel, you will likely see some of the ice carvings and snow sculptures along with Cucumber Gulch, which is a wildlife habitat area. The chair lift is similar but does not have the gondola-style cars and can handle as many as 37,880 passengers per hour. On the other hand, the gondola can only handle about 3,000 passengers per hour. Buses, gondola rides, chair lifts and most parking lots are free.

Vote for Your Favorite!

Once you are at the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships presented by Cadillac, you can vote for your favorite display in the “People’s Choice” competition. You generally donate $1 per vote which goes toward supporting future festivals. The event typically features an exhibit commemorating the history of ice carving and snow sculpting over the past 20 years. An ice village is also on-site and while it might not be as large as the 40,000 square foot ice castle complex in nearby Silverthorne it is still pretty impressive. The ice village at the festival usually has lights incorporated into the carvings to give a special glow to the figures.

International Competition!

Teams from all over the world including Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Canada compete in the ice carving festival. Members usually get about four days to sculpt and carve their creations, and you can observe the process if you wish to do so. The event also usually needs volunteers if you really want to get involved in this international effort.

It’s Cold!

Both the Breckenridge ice carving festival and the Silverthorne ice castle are true winter environments. You should wear boots with excellent traction and warm clothing. Cowboy boots are not suitable for either activity. At the Silverthorne ice castle you can use complimentary ski poles.

Check the Weather!

The weather may impact the ice carvings and snow sculptures in both Breckenridge and Silverthorne. This makes it worthwhile to visit on multiple days because you might never see the exact same thing twice. While the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships presented by Cadillac has set open and close dates each year, the Silverthorne ice castle’s start and end dates depend on annual weather conditions.

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