The 125-person Christmas Eve torchlight parade has been a tradition at Park City Mountain Resort for 50 years. (Photo courtesy of Park City Mountain
The 125-person Christmas Eve torchlight parade has been a tradition at Park City Mountain Resort for 50 years. (Photo courtesy of Park City Mountain Resort)
For many people the holiday season is a time of tradition.

In Park City, traditions run strong at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley and Canyons.

Residents and visitors alike have enjoyed many of the Christmas Eve and Christmas activities at these resorts throughout the years. To some families, these events have become traditions in their own

Park City Mountain Resort

Park City Mountain Resort has welcomed winter-sports enthusiasts for the past 50 years to enjoy its sprawling 3,300 skiable acres and 10,000-foot summit, said the resort's communications manager, Andy Miller.

But there is one event as old as the resort that never fails to dazzle onlookers — the Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade.

Santa visits with kids at the Snow Park area at Deer Valley every Christmas Eve. (Park Record file photo)
Santa visits with kids at the Snow Park area at Deer Valley every Christmas Eve. (Park Record file photo)

"Every year, our entire ski and snowboard instructor staff, which is about 125 people, hold lighted torches and wind down the Pay Day run into the resort plaza," Miller told The Park Record. "This long procession is followed by Santa, who will hang out at the end of the run for a few minutes."

The parade begins approximately at 6 p.m., but before that, beginning at 5:30 p.m., PCMR staffers offer free hot chocolate and cookies to those gathered at the plaza.

Admission and refreshments are free.

"It is quite the scene to see the torches lighting up the slope," Miller said.

Miller also wanted to offer a word of caution.

"The Torchlight Parade does happen quickly, so if people want to see it, they should get to the plaza around 5:30 p.m.," he said. "There is plenty of parking in our lots and if you make your way up to the ski racks and ticket offices, there will be some hosts who will direct people to the spots where they can see the whole thing."

Also, it's a good idea to dress warmly.

"I was there last year and it gets pretty cold, and judging by the weather we've been having lately, we will probably be in for another cold night," Miller said.

The parade isn't the only time Santa will make appearances at the resort that day, according to Miller.

Santa sightings will be in abundance at Canyons on Christmas Eve day. (Park Record file photo)
Santa sightings will be in abundance at Canyons on Christmas Eve day. (Park Record file photo)

"Another tradition of ours is that Santa will ski some of the slopes and pop up to surprise some people," he said. "I'm sure he'll listen to some last-minute Christmas list wishes, and there will be a handful of Santa's helpers handing out some 50th anniversary prizes throughout the day.

"It is really cool to have a tradition like this that we've been doing for all the 50 years that we've been here," Miller said. "And we're looking forward to doing it again this year."

For more information visit www.pcmr.com or call 435-649-8111 .

Deer Valley

There will be Santa sightings at Deer Valley Resort on Christmas Eve day as well, said Emily Summers, Deer Valley's communications manager.

While guests and residents take advantage of the 2,025 acres and the 9,570-foot summit, the Jolly Ol' Elf will make two appearances, Summers told The Park Record.

"From 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., he will be in the Snow Park area," she said. "That's where our children's center and ski school are, which makes sense. Santa will make his rounds to talk with families and children and then disappear for while."

"Then from noon until 1:30 p.m., he'll reappear at the Silver Lake Lodge area," Summers said. "He'll be seen hanging around the beach and the flat area between the Sterling Express chairlift and Home Stake."

Guests and their children are invited to bring cameras and take pictures with Santa at both locations.

Visiting Deer Valley has been a priority for Santa for many years, Summers explained.

"This has been going on for as long as I can remember," she said. "It's become a great tradition for us."

For more information, please call 435-649-1000 or 800-424-DEER (3337).

Canyons

Santa will also make appearances throughout the resort's 4,000 acres on Christmas Eve and Christmas, said the resort's senior manager of communications, Steve Pastorino.

"Santa is going to shred the slopes at Canyons on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25," Pastorino said during an interview. "People will also be able to look for him at the Ski Beach, on the slopes and throughout the entire resort."

"This is especially fun for children, because he'll be giving out a variety of treats when he makes his appearances," he said. "It's a nice little something for our guests and we enjoy doing it."

For more information, visit www.canyonsresort.com.