Torchlight parade tradition continues

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— There are always many choices for those looking to celebrate on New Year's Eve. Bands, dinner parties, shows and parties are all planned for the big night.

But there is one annual event early in the evening that might suit everyone's tastes before the countdown to midnight.

The Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. is keeping the torchlight parade tradition alive on New Year's Eve, providing locals and tourists alike with some visual entertainment.

Ski Corp. officials couldn't come up with how long torchlight parades have been happening on Mount Werner.

"There's been a longstanding tradition for 20 years solid, if not 30," Ski Corp. spokeswoman Cathy Wiedemer said.

Each year, every member of the Ski Corp.'s ski and snowboard school ski and ride a lit torch down a ski run in the parade, creating a beautiful display of light on the mountain.

"They come from the top of See Me on down, all the way to Headwall," Ski Corp. spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said.

They usually incorporate themes, skiing and riding in pattern, sometimes showing the numbers of the changing years.

When the skiers get to the bottom of the run, a fireworks display will commence.

The torchlight parade starts at 7 p.m. and Polumbus said most people find places to stand at the base area to watch the procession ski down the mountain.

The fireworks display will last for about 15 to 20 minutes.

"It's long enough to be a pretty good show, but not long enough that everyone freezes," she said.

After the parade, Ski Corp. is offering a variety of New Year's Eve celebration options, including dinners at various restaurants and two showings of a comedy act starring comedian Jolly Demis at the Stoker. The first showing, at 7 p.m., is appropriate for children, and the second, at 9:30 p.m., is for adults only.

-- To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4204

or e-mail dcrowl@steamboatpiliot.com

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