BIG SKY RESORT

Celebrate the holidays on the slopes this season at Big Sky Resort with a torchlight parade, skiing Santa Claus and firework displays sure to wow even the biggest Grinch.

For decades, Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Sports instructors have meandered their way down Andesite Mountain for the awe-inducing annual torchlight parade on Christmas Eve. Holding flares while skiing and riding in a single-file line, about two dozen of the resort’s instructors snake their way down the hill in the dark. Hundreds turn out to watch the event, which begins at 8 p.m., and many secure a prime viewing spot at the base of the Ramcharger chairlift.

After years of practice, these employees have nearly perfected the careful timing of the torchlight parade, not skiing too fast in order to stay together, but also not too slow so the torches don’t burn out prematurely.

It’s also possible that Santa Claus may stop in for the torchlight affair to distribute treats to the crowd. Prior to the torchlight parade, Santa will read aloud the holiday classic, “T’was the Night Before Christmas” in the Huntley Lodge Sunken Lobby at 7 p.m.

Additionally, the Huntley Dining Room will serve a Christmas Eve dinner buffet from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

The next day, Dec. 25, guests should keep their eyes peeled on the slopes as Santa and one of his elf helpers has been known to ski the Lone Peak Tram, hit the terrain parks and enjoy the groomers on Andesite Mountain. In the afternoon, around 1:30 p.m., look for Santa visiting with guests in the Mountain Village and Madison Base areas.

On Dec. 31, there will be two firework shows to bring in the new year, one beginning at 8 p.m. and the other at the stroke of midnight. These shows are best viewed from the Mountain Village plaza.

There will be a New Year’s Eve party in the Talus Room of the Summit Hotel, and live music by the Dusty Pockets will bring down the house at Montana Jacks. Kids ages 4 and up have a supervised party all of their own in the Yellowstone Conference Center from 6-11:30 p.m. Reservations are required.

For an elegant, intimate New Year’s Eve celebration, Everett’s 8,800 on top of Andesite Mountain is offering gourmet alpine cuisine perfect for ringing in the new year. Limited seats are available.

For more information on holiday events or to see the snow conditions on the mountain, visit bigskyresort.com.