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Sun Valley’s Torchlight Parade returns to Dollar Mountain this Christmas Eve.

Sun Valley is transforming into a Winter Wonderland before our very eyes. Magical lights twinkle throughout the village. The sound of jingle bells and the smell of gingerbread float through the air.

Sun Valley spokeswoman Jenna Vagias says their series of events will fill even the biggest Scrooge with holiday cheer.

“Our family of employees at Sun Valley Resort are woven into the fabric of our community, and family-friendly events bring generations together for memory-making,” Vagias said.

The festivities continue at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17-18 at the Opera House with the Classic Christmas Concert. Tickets cost $25 and are available at the Guest Center in the Sun Valley Village, or at sunvalley.com.

“Nothing evokes the spirit of the holidays like music,” Vagias said. “Where better than the historic Sun Valley Opera House to enjoy a wonderful evening of carols old and new, storytelling, and more?”

Performers include Aly Wepplo, Andrew Alburger, Andrew Garratt, Teddy Cunningham, John Mauldin, Melodie Taylor-Mauldin, with special guests The Beverly Lovers and Colla Voce. Taylor-Mauldin directs, with R.L. Rowsey taking on the music.

“I think we have a pretty great recipe of fun arrangements of classic holiday songs combined with an introduction to a couple of new songs to add to your holiday playlist,” Rowsey said. “For me it’s our version of an Andy Williams Christmas Special—sure to make you feel cozy.”

That weekend, those who purchase holiday gifts could also be donating to charity. A number of stores, including the Brass Ranch, Pete Lane’s, Signatures and the Lodge Gift Shop are participating in “Shop for a Cause.” A percentage of their profits go to the Environmental Resource Center, 43° North and Girls on the Run in the Wood River Valley. A great way to get on Santa’s nice list.

The Christmas Eve Ice Show makes a comeback this year. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the show begins at 5:30 p.m. Local ice skaters will perform to your favorite holiday tunes. The ice show, which costs $10 per person this year, has sold out.

Special guest stars include U.S. National Team Member Angela Wang as well as Russian Master of Sport, Natalia Zaitseva pairing up with US Olympian Jeremy Barrett.

After the show, the torchlight parade down Dollar commences. Over 150 SnowSports instructors will take the lift up and create a ribbon of light up and down the mountain.

This Scandinavian tradition dates back to the resort’s opening in the 1930s. Director of SnowSports and Guest Services Tony Parkhill stewards the parade.

“I feel it is at the core of our holiday festivities and pulls us all together at a special time of year,” Parkhill said.

Stay afterward for the fireworks display, which can be viewed from the Village, the ice rink, or Pavilion lot.

Meanwhile, the Sun Valley Carolers will grace us with their voices from December 21-28.

Sun Valley’s owners, the Holding family, came up with the idea to have carolers nearly 30 years ago. They reached out to their contacts in a collegiate Utah chorale group. The same core singers have returned to Sun Valley for the holidays for over a decade.

Chip Booth, director of entertainment, enjoys their rendition of “Carol of the Bells.” And, of course, “It Happened in Sun Valley,” is always a crowd-pleaser.

On New Years Eve, you can shred some powder on Dollar Mountain under stars and more fireworks. Lift operators will hand out glow sticks to illuminate the mountain, along with the overhead lighting.

Tickets are $45 per adult and $35 per child 12 and under. The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. and culminate with fireworks at 9 p.m.

For more information and a detailed schedule, visit sunvalley.com. 

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