Ski area lights up weekend


— New Year's revelers in Steamboat Springs will be treated to a pyrotechnic display Sunday when more than 100 Perfect Turn ski instructors form a torchlight parade down the See Me trail near the base of the ski area, followed almost immediately by fireworks.

Steamboat Skier Services Director Jim Schneider said the torchlight parade will form up at 7 p.m.

"As soon as we begin to ski away, they'll start the fireworks show," Schneider said. "It should probably last 10 to 15 minutes."

The fireworks will be touched off by the same company that provides Steamboat's Fourth of July fireworks, Pyrotecnico of Newcastle, Pa.

Company President Stephen Vitale, speaking form his office in the "Fireworks Capital of the U.S.," said there will be 500 shells in Steamboat's display. This is one of just 65 shows his company is performing on New Year's Eve.

"People will see shells from all over the world," Vitale said. "In addition to the U.S., they are made in Japan and China."

The most traditional fireworks shells are known as peonies and chrysanthemums, Vitale said.

But the Steamboat show will also include the spectacular brocade crown chrysanthemums, "Palm Trees," strobe shells that blink on and off and the crossettes. "Crossettes look like splitting comets,"Vitale said.

The fireworks display will be visible from all over the mountain base because the shells will be launched from the top of the Voo Doo trail. Popular public viewing areas at the base of the ski area include Gondola Plaza and Torian Plum Plaza. Many guests of the Steamboat Grand Hotel, Sheraton Steamboat, Torian Plum and Bronze Tree condominiums will be able to watch the display from their rooms, if they face the ski area.


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