Deer Valley celebrates the season |

Deer Valley celebrates the season

The holiday season is a special time at Deer Valley Resort.

There is a festive energy that starts on Christmas Eve and culminates with the annual torchlight parade on Dec. 30, said Emily Summers, communications manager for Deer Valley.

"This happens to be our busiest time of the year and we want to give our guests and local residents a chance to celebrate the holidays," Summers told The Park Record.

That’s why it’s been a tradition for Santa Claus to visit the resort on Christmas Eve and for the Deer Valley Ski School to present its annual torchlight parade on Dec. 30.

"These things bring a level of festivity to the resort," Summers said.

Santa will start his Christmas Eve day at the Snow Park Lodge at 9 a.m.

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"He can be seen around our Children’s Center and ski school headquarters," Summers said. "From there he makes his rounds around the base area until around 11 a.m. when people and families can meet him and give him last-minute requests."

At noon, Santa will be seen at Silver Lake, the resort’s mid-mountain area.

"He will be there until 1:30 p.m.," Summers said. "Sometimes he passes out candy canes. Sometimes he’s skiing. So you never know what he’ll do. But he will always pose for photos and will be very visible that day."

The public is welcome to bring their cameras and take free photos with Santa.

"This is a great event for families," Summers said.

A few days later, on Dec. 30, Deer Valley will present its annual torchlight parade.

"We always hold the parade on Dec. 30, no matter what day of the week it is," Summers explained. "It will start at approximately 6 p.m. and snake down Big Stick ski run to Wide West, which is behind Snow Park Lodge."

The parade is presented by the Deer Valley Ski School.

"Deer Valley was known for its synchronized ski team and we kind of revive that during the torchlight parade," Summers said. "The skiers put on quite a show, especially when they get down to the Wide West area."

The number of skiers varies from year to year and it depends on who signs up.

"We usually try to get between 50 to 100 skiers to participate," Summer said. "They choreograph their moves to put on this show. We definitely have some talented skiers here on staff and the torches are lit on both ends. It’s pretty cool."

The best place to see the parade is from the Snow Park Lodge plaza area.

"We tell people that they can watch it from the deck area at the base of the run," Summers said. "We do offer complimentary hot cider and cookies from 5:45 p.m. until 6 p.m. for people who are waiting for the parade to start."

Since this year’s parade will be held on a Tuesday night, Deer Valley will keep Snow Park Restaurant open late.

"We will offer a full menu," Summers said. "This is the first time we’ve done this. Since the lodge didn’t have anything going on, we thought we would change things up a bit."

Before Summers started working in the skiing industry, she was always thrilled to catch a torchlight parade.

"It’s such a great scene to see these red torches coming down a run," she said. "It is definitely something that people have made their winter tradition and it’s our own take on holiday lights."

Deer Valley will welcome Santa Claus on Wednesday, Dec. 24. He will be at the Snow Park Lodge plaza from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and at Silver Lake from noon to 1:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Dec. 30, the resort will present its annual torchlight parade at approximately 6 p.m. at the Snow Park Lodge. The parade will feature the Deer Valley Ski School. Hot cider and cookies will be available from 5:45 p.m. until 6 p.m. Both events are free. For more information, visit