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Breckenridge Breaks World Record for Longest Shot Ski During Ullr Fest

A toast to Ullr
by Carrie Dow on Jan 18, 2016 in Events

Once again the mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado, is on top of the drinking record books. Last Thursday, January 14, the town broke the record for the World’s Longest Shot Ski. The Drink Nation was there to participate.

For the last 53 years, Breckenridge has held one of the Rocky Mountain’s oldest and craziest winter festivals in January, Ullr Fest. This three-day celebration is in honor of the Norse God of Snow and this weekend, Ullr did not disappoint. The snow came down as the town prepared for the shot ski.

The idea for the shot ski was created four years ago by the fine folks at Breckenridge Distillery, and it’s amazing how this small mountain town brings so many people together for the love of snow and spirits. Starting at noon Breckenridge Distillery and the town begin registering participants. Along with proof of age, participants must also give a $5 donation to the Breckenridge Rotary. Participants are then given a plastic shot glass, a string of beads, and a wristband. The beads and wristband are to prevent non-registered and the under-aged from just joining in and keep the record on the level.

At 3:45 PM everyone gathers at the Riverwalk Center to get a tutorial on how the event works. This is the fourth year for this event and the folks at Breck Distillery have it down. First, the crowd is reminded to have their wristband on and to wear the beads outside of their jackets so officials know they are registered. The donated skis, which come from locals, businesses, and the ski resort, have been pre-drilled by distillery staff; one hole on each end and the back end has a screw and wing nut. At 4 PM, groups of people grab a ski on their way out the door and take them across the bridge to Main Street.

Once on the street, participants line up their skis and screw them together tip side up; a hard task to do with winter gloves on. Each ski has three round pieces of Velcro on it. The plastic cups that each participant has also have Velcro. Participants put the two together and wait for friendly Breckenridge staffers, easily identified by their pirate outfits, to walk down the line with bottles of Breckenridge spearmint schnapps. All this is done in only 20 minutes. A few cops walk the street to make sure participants have their beads and wrist bands showing. A Breckenridge Distillery staffer uses a measuring wheel to calculate the length of the ski while another walks the line with a video camera to record this prestigious event.

There is a countdown over a loud speaker at the parade grandstand, but for those on the far ends of the skis, it’s hard to hear. The shot is scheduled to take place at 4:20 PM (Coincidence?).The ends wait until those in the middle lift their skis and everyone follows suit. In seconds, the shot is over. While the crowd applauds, the participants unscrew their skis and the pirates direct them to the west end of the street where more pirates gather the skis and put them on a truck for removal. In a matter of minutes, the street is cleared for the Ullr Fest parade at 4:30 PM. The World’s Longest Shot Ski is now a memory.

Rachel Zerowin of the Breckenridge Tourism Office said this year’s shot ski was 1,301 feet long, breaking last year’s record of 1,250 feet, and had 831 people enjoying the shot. Can another city beat that mark? Zerowin said several towns have tried, but Breckenridge continues to be the leader.

We should mention that this is not a Guinness World Record because Guinness does not recognize alcoholic events, however, this is considered an official world record, one of which the town is tremendously proud.

Top and bottom photos by Breckenridge Tourism Office, Middle photos by Carrie Dow


Tags: Festival, Spirits
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