Utah ski areas plan special holiday celebrations
While Utahns busy themselves with Christmas and New Year's parties and preparations, many of the state's ski areas carry on holiday traditions of their own.
Expect to see torchlight parades, Santa skiing on the mountain, special activities and dinners and fireworks during the holiday season.
Park City Mountain Resort will continue its anniversary celebration this year with its 50th annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade. Santa and the resort's ski and snowboard instructors illuminate the Pay Day Run in a procession of lights starting at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 24. The resort offers free hot chocolate and cookies in the plaza.
Also on Christmas Eve, Santa spends much of the day skiing around Park City Mountain Resort. In addition, the ski area begins its night operations on Christmas night on PayDay lift, First Time lift and 3 Kings lift and terrain park.
The town of Park City has been celebrating the holidays through much of December. Many of the stores have their windows decorated. On Saturday, Santa, Mrs. Claus and a juggling elf will stroll through town from 2 to 4 p.m. Holiday carolers will be seen around town Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Santa and his elves will be on Main Street Sunday and Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. Followed by holiday carolers from 5 to 7 p.m.
Deer Valley and The Canyons also offer holiday events.
On Dec. 21, the first 50 skiers to dress up as Santa, Mrs. Claus or an elf can ski for free at The Canyons, but they must be in full regalia. Santa will be on the slopes both Christmas Eve and Day passing out candy and treats.
The Canyons also offers a big New Year's event with a family-friendly and more adult party as well as fireworks over the Orange Bubble Express Lift at 7:30 p.m.
At Deer Valley, Santa will be visiting Snow Park Lodge on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Before moving to the Silver Lake Lodge area from noon to 1:30 p.m. That resort's torchlight parade is scheduled December 30 on Bald Eagle Mountain behind the Snow Park Lodge.
Alta will celebrate New Year's Eve with a torchlight parade and fireworks. Those who want to participate can begin loading on the Collins' lift at 5:15 p.m.
Snowbird holds its torchlight parade and fireworks show at 6 p.m. on Christmas eve with the best viewing from the Snowbird Center plaza. The resort will also host a candlelight service at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve. Special holiday feast menus will be available at all of the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort's restaurants on Dec. 24, 25 and 31.
Brian Head's big holiday event takes place on New Year's Eve with an 8 p.m. torchlight parade. The resort also has a family-friendly party with live music.
Snowbasin will begin a special Christmas Eve menu at Earl's Lodge starting at 4:30 p.m. with a torchlight parade scheduled at 6 p.m followed by fireworks at 6:15 p.m.
Solitude hosts a winterfest event that begins Friday and runs through Jan. 5, including music, ice carving and a number of fun events for the kids. Santa will also be on the mountain passing out candy on Christmas Day. A children's glow parade is scheduled Dec. 30.
Sundance has a number of children's activities and movie screenings scheduled from Dec. 26 to 31.