Five Fabulously Frosty Festivals
January 19 – 20, 2019
Bavarian Icefest in Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth, Washington’s big wintertime festival is held annually on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend. The town’s Bavarian Icefest includes the Icefest Games, ice carving and snow sculptures, ice fishing, and fireworks. There’s even a special playground where kids can try snowboarding and skiing.
Leavenworth village’s Bavarian-style building, with the Cascade Mountains in the background, provides an idyllic setting for a snowy winter fest. Hundreds of thousands of lights line the village’s buildings, adding a festive warmth to the cold winter nights.
Stay nearby at one of several in-town hotels and inns near the Bavarian Icefest, including the Bavarian Lodge, Der Ritterhof Inn, Fairbridge Inn & Suites, and Howard Johnson
January 21 -30, 2019
International Snow Sculpture Championships
Sixteen teams from around the world come to Breckenridge, Colorado to see who can carve the most spectacular sculpture from 25-ton blocks of snow.
The event is free and open to the public for viewing.
Visitors can watch the sculptures take form during sculpting week, from January 21 – 25 and see the finished sculptures during viewing weekend, January 25 – 30.
The snow sculptures are located around the Riverwalk Center at 150 West Adams Avenue in Breckenridge.
Stay in the area and you can visit watch the sculptures progress from blocks of snow to works of art! See our list of hotels near the International Snow Sculpture Champions.
January 26 – February 3, 2019
Lake Geneva Winterfest
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin hosts a nine-day Winterfest that features everything from snow sculptures and ice castles to hovercrafts and human dog sled races.
Experience what is would feel like to be the ruler of an ice kingdom! Winterfest Ice Castles are professionally sculpted, led lit, structures complete with frozen thrones and fountains.
For a different type of thrill ride, zip across the frozen lake in a hovercraft. If you’d rather stay ashore, you can watch hover craft pilots compete in the Skills Challenge.
There’s a lot to do during the festival week. Visit the festival website for a full schedule of events.
Stay in one of Lake Geneva’s many hotels and enjoy all the events!
February 1 – 10, 2019
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
This icy festival has been going on since 1897, making it one of the longest running events of its type in the U.S..
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival spans 10 days and includes sporting events, live entertainment, two parades, and three fireworks show. The signature piece for the event is the Ice Palace, a large frozen structure constructed by volunteer each year on the shores of Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay. The provides a dramatic setting for the carnival’s opening fireworks and “Storming the Palace” closing fireworks.
Sporting events include some of the sports you’d expect at a winter festival including cross country skiing races, downhill ski races, and a pond hockey tournament, plus some icy varieties of activities more commonly associated with warming weather, including snowflake volleyball, snowshoe softball, arctic golf, and snow rugby.
See out list of hotels near the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, including the Hotel Saranac, located on Main Street in Saranac Lake.
February 6 – 10, 2019
Steamboat Winter Carnival
Winter fun with a Western flair is what the Steamboat Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado is all about.
The Steamboat Winter Carnival, originally started to help residents cope with cabin fever, is the oldest continuous running Winter Carnival west of the Mississippi. Those cabin-fever-combating origins are evident in the active nature of the Saturday Street Events, which focus on young festival attendees. Kids take to snow-covered Lincoln Avenue for a series of events in which they ride skies or snowboard while being pulled by horses. Not only are these events fun for the participants, but they’re all great fun to watch. Spectators line the streets to see slalom races, ring and spear events (collect rings with a spear while being pulled behind a horse on skis!), and the popular Donkey Jump, in which contestants try for the longest ski jump off a two foot ramp while being pulled behind a horse.
There’s lots of active fun for adults too. There amateur ski jumping, a cross country obstacle race, and a slalom bike race – on the snow!
A highlight of the event is the Saturday night Night Extravaganza at Howelsen Hill. The nighttime event skiing exhibitions illuminated with flare and LED lights, alpine jumpers who fly through hoops of fire, and the Lighted Man who skis down the hill while shooting fireworks from his pyrotechnic suit. The event wraps up with a huge fireworks display.
You’ll want to stay nearby so you can enjoy all the fun. See our list of hotels near the Steamboat Winter Carnival.