If there is a festival to take place in winter, Jackson Hole, Wyoming has to be the destination. The town’s WinterFest is a two-week celebration of winter, including ice skating, horse racing, hockey, dancing, wine tasting, and more. The weirdest thing is that this week I met two guys (Brian and Jeremy) who are from Wyoming and work in the travel industry there in Jackson!! So here’s an article to convince you to visit! I was drinking with them in Nicaragua and got inspired.
It’s a locals and tourists one and only chance to celebrate each year’s winter as they should.
The Cutter Races
Held south of Melody Ranch and charging $15 for admission, the Cutter Races feature a quarter mile strip and crowd that resembles those found in Greek and Roman empires more than modern-day tracks. Chants and grilled bratwursts fill the air during this one-of-a-kind experience.
Alpine Ski Race
The Alpine Ski Race, held on Snow King Mountain in downtown Jackson, features giant slalom and two slalom events with some of the best skiing talent the world has to offer. Of course, you don’t have to watch. Enjoy the steep and technical course yourself. Reside next to the mountain by choosing a luxury hotel in Jackson Hole.
Nordic Ski Race
Ecstatic onlookers watch the Nordic Ski Race at Trail Creek at the base of Teton Pass. The race includes a 30, 15, 5, 3, and a free 1k course, which welcomes skiers and boarders of all ages and abilities. Visit Jackson Hole Ski Club’s official site to learn more about the Moose Chase race.
Snow Bike Race
Snow bike demonstrations and races take place at Snow King Resort. The one-day event culminates in a radical downhill race at 5 pm. It’s not common to find bikes on snow, but these athletes with special abilities know how to put on a memorable show.
The Festival offers a chance to enjoy tasty libations with wine tasting and a silent auction at the Center for the Arts. It costs $25 to get in and admission comes along with a free souvenir wine glass. All proceeds go toward restoring the historic Masonic Lodge.
The Jackson Ice Fest at Exum Ice Park (Snow King Mountain) hosts a Poker Climb, Speed Climb, and Efficiency Climb competition. Competition is open and includes a $20 entrance fee. If you’re not a skilled climber, stay warm by the campfire with a cup of hot chocolate.
Winter Trails Day
Explore Bridger-Teton National Forest. The family-friendly day includes free Nordic ski lessons, snow bike demonstrations, and avalanche rescue demonstrations. Kids enjoy a Snow Ranger project led by a National Forest representative.
Jet skis tow big-wave surfers in, but those participating in ski jouring are pulled behind a horse. Whether you’re a snowboarder or skier, you have to try a hand at this event that takes place at the same location as the Cutter Races.
The WinterFest closes with the Lion’s Club 49er Ball at the Virginian Saloon. Dance lessons are provided by the Dancer’s Workshop and leads into live music. Live auctions, ‘Vegas’ gambling, and costume contest are also on the night’s event list.
If you do one thing to celebrate winter this year, head to Jackson Hole’s WinterFest!!