Deer Valley’s torchlight parade illuminates longstanding tradition |

Deer Valley’s torchlight parade illuminates longstanding tradition

Deer Valley Ski School instructors load the Burns lift as they prepare for another performance on Wide West during Deer Valley Ski Resort's Torchlight Parade Friday evening, Dec. 29, 2016. Each of the instructors was wrapped in colorful Christmas lights so they were illuminated on the mountain.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Deer Valley torchlight parade 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 30 Big Stick run behind the Snow Park Lodge Free

Deer Valley’s annual torchlight parade always lights up the resort on Dec. 30 – one day before New Year’s Eve.

The reason for lighting the flares early is simple, said Emily summers, the resort’s senior communications manager.

“There are a lot of events and holiday traditions that are held throughout Park City this week, especially on New Year’s Eve,” Summers said. “So Deer Valley decided decades ago to do this on the eve before New Year’s Eve.”

The parade itself will start at 6 p.m., she said.

“Our ski school staff light their flares and ski down behind the Snow Park Lodge,” Summers said. “Our Synchro Team will also make an appearance this year as well.”

Summers’ first Deer Valley torchlight parade is still vivid in her memory after 13 years working at the resort.

“It blew me away. It’s so gorgeous,” she said. “You see the lines of red and really don’t see the skiers,” she said. “Torchlight parades are unique to mountain towns, and it’s a fun way to celebrate the upcoming new years.”

The celebration will start with free hot chocolate and cookies, which will be served from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the Snow Park Lodge plaza.

The EBS Lounge will also be open from 3-6 p.m. The lounge serves a full drink and small-food menu for adults, Summers said.

Many of the Deer Valley’s guests plan their stays at the resort to coincide with the holiday season, according to Summers.

“We definitely see people making a tradition of people spending their holidays at Deer Valley, and we see multi-generations from all over the country meet here to spend time with each other,” she said. “We also see people who grew up skiing here bring their kids to experience the same traditions they did when they were young. We have been doing the torchlight parade forever, it seems. So people know what to expect.”

Summers said it’s an honor that people trust the resort enough to spend their holidays there.

“So this is a nice way for us to say thank you to them if we can help enhance or add to the traditions they make for themselves with what we have to offer,” she said.

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