BEAVER CREEK - A Beaver Creek tradition, the 32nd annual tree lighting ceremony and the 10th annual gingerbread competition marks the beginning of the holiday season at Beaver Creek on Nov. 23.
This year, the tree is a 38-foot tall alpine fir tree from Montrose. This tree comes from an arborist who identified it as no longer supported by its environment, and instead of sending it to the chipper, Beaver Creek will let it live on during the holidays.
The event also features a full evening of festivities for the whole family, including a holiday poetry contest, a visit from Santa, a fireworks display and the gingerbread competition. Elaborate gingerbread creations will be on display for the gingerbread house competition in the Gerald R. Ford Hall at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. All proceeds from the silent auction and holiday market will go to Court-Appointed Special Advocates, a local organization serving children in Eagle, Summit, Lake and Clear Creek counties.
There also will be a special Kids' Holiday Wish for a Better World Poetry Contest. The contest winner will read his or her poem at the tree lighting ceremony, and will have the honor of lighting Beaver Creek's holiday tree. Local judges will select poems that best reflect the spirit of the holiday season.
Beaver Creek's family holiday celebration on Friday includes the following, with special programming provided by Blue Creek Productions.
• 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Public ice skating and holiday music at the Black Family Ice Rink in Beaver Creek Village.
• 4-8 p.m.: Free public viewing and silent auction of the Gingerbread Competition entries in the Gerald R. Ford Hall at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.
• 5-5:45 p.m.: Figure skating show.
• 6 p.m.: The holiday tree lighting ceremony begins with musical performances, fireworks and a visit from Santa Claus.
• 6:45-9 p.m.: Free public ice skating.
• 8 p.m.: Showing of the newest Warren Miller ski film, "Flow State," at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased for $19 online at vilarpac.org or by calling 888-920-2787.
For more information about the holiday tree lighting ceremony, the gingerbread competition and other winter events at Beaver Creek, visit www.beavercreek.com or call 877-204-7883.