Torchlight parade is Park City Mountain Resort’s longest-running tradition
Park City Resort’s Christmas Eve torchlight parade is a tradition as old as the resort itself. That means it will turn 52 this year, according to Andy Miller, PCMR’s communications manager.
"This is also one of our most special traditions, and, as far as I know, our longest-running tradition," Miller told The Park Record. "I find it creates a special seasonal atmosphere here on Christmas Eve."
Before the actual parade, PCMR starts the celebration at 5:30 p.m. on the resort plaza with holiday music and hot beverages — coffee and hot cocoa — that are all free.
"We get the families gathered at the plaza and later have our mountain hosts escort the group out onto the snow," Miller explained. "Shortly afterwards, our skiing and snowboard school staff parades down PayDay run in this beautiful procession of torchlights.
"We don’t like to put an exact time on when the procession starts because when you’re working with all these people, time tables can be moved forward or backwards," he said. "So, the best bet is to be up at the resort at 5:30 p.m."
The celebration has become a tradition for many people over the years, Miller said.
"That’s one of the things that is really cool," he said. "The event has become a favorite for locals and destination guests as well. So we get a good mix of people who have seen it before with first-timers who aren’t sure what to expect. It’s fun to see them all blown away as the procession starts making its way down the mountain."
Every year the event attracts many Park City residents who have never seen the parade, Miller said.
"If you’re a local resident or visiting from out of town, this event is a great way to make Christmas Eve special with unique on-mountain activities you can only get here in a town like Park City," he said. "It’s really cool and very pretty. I can’t think of a better way to make Christmas Eve special."
Miller said continuing the torchlight-parade tradition is especially important eafter Vail purchased the resort earlier this year.
"The Vail leadership and I have been telling people since Park City Mountain Resorts ownership changed three months ago that no one is looking to change what makes PCMR special," he sad. "We have a lot of distinctive things that Vail wants to preserve and this is certainly one of them."
In conjunction with the spirit of the holidays, Santa Claus will also make appearances at the resort all day, leading up to the parade.
"He’ll be all over the mountain, taking some turns of his own, and visiting with guests," Miller said. "I’m sure he will also be getting some last-minute gift requests from kids who are on his nice list."
The jolly elf will pose for photos and hand out some goodies.
"So those who are out skiing on Christmas Eve Day should keep their eyes open for Santa," Miller said.
Park City Mountain Resort’s annual torchlight parade and Christmas Eve celebration will be held Wednesday, Dec. 24, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Earlier in the day, Santa Claus will be seen on the slopes. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.parkcitymountainresort.com.
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