Kerry Kennedy nears the finish line at last year s Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest. Park Record File Photo
Kerry Kennedy nears the finish line at last year s Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest. Park Record File Photo

For the 22nd year in a row, the Deer Valley ski season will kick off with the Celebrity Skifest, an event benefiting the Waterkeeper Alliance and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team.

Celebrities and Olympians will race side by side in a fun event on Saturday, Dec. 7, with the race to be aired on Sunday, Dec. 8, on CBS at 12:30 p.m. local time.

This year, Jason Alexander, Larry David, Deadliest Catch captain Keith Colburn, Bobby Farrelly, Edward James Olmos, Dr. Oz and Waterkeeper Alliance president Robert F. Kennedy Jr., highlight the list of celebrities scheduled to attend. Olympians Steve and Phil Mahre, Tommy Moe and Heidi Voelker are also going to be in attendance.

A concert by country superstar Miranda Lambert will highlight the Saturday-evening festivities.

Deer Valley's director of marketing Coleen Reardon said the Skifest is a Park City staple at this point.

"It really has become tradition that it kicks off our opening weekend," she said. "It's great energy and it also comes with a great television show."

Though the event has entered its third decade of existence, Reardon said the schedule will feature some new events in 2013.

"Friday night we added a poker tournament," she said. "It starts at 9 p.m. in the Daly's Pub & Rec at Montage Deer Valley. You get to play poker with some of the celebrities and there are cocktails and light bites."

There will still be the annual benefit on Saturday night, but this year patrons can bid on the silent auction items on ebay.com/waterkeeper.

"Saturday night, there's a benefit we host at the Montage," Reardon said. "Seats are $2,500 per couple and all the celebrities attend. Locals can participate in the auction without attending this year. All the items are listed on ebay - that's new for us."

The Skifest, put on by Deer Valley in conjunction with JUMA Entertainment, has partnered with a nonprofit organization for each of the 22 years. This year, the Waterkeeper Alliance is the event's beneficiary.

"They've always partnered with a nonprofit," Reardon said. "It's a good thing to do, it brings celebrities to the table and they like that interaction."

Waterkeeper Alliance is a group that tries to keep water clean and protects ecosystems and water quality. More information about the organization can be found at waterkeeper.org.

But, perhaps the most exiting aspect of the Skifest weekend is that it signifies the start of the ski season at Deer Valley, something Reardon and the Deer Valley staff are even more anxious to get underway after this week's snowy weather.

"We're so excited," she said. "The other thing that's great for us is the temps are getting lower, so hopefully we'll be able to get some 24-hour snowmaking in."

For tickets to the Saturday night benefit, concert or poker tournament, contact waterkeeper@cwandco.com or call 646-416-6643. Saturday's races begin at noon on the Birdseye run.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the poker tournament will be taking place Friday at 9 p.m., and not Saturday at 10 p.m. as originally stated.