Ski races, tree lightings, ugly holiday sweater fun runs, cookies, Powabunga and more: Tricia’s Winter Picks 11/5/21 |

Ski races, tree lightings, ugly holiday sweater fun runs, cookies, Powabunga and more: Tricia’s Winter Picks 11/5/21

The season starts with a flurry of events and activities at Vail and Beaver Creek

After a slim events calendar last year, there are many events returning this winter. Here’s a look at what’s happening through the end of 2021.

Revely Vail: Nov. 12 – Dec. 10

Revely Vail kicks off the season on Nov. 12, Vail’s Opening Day.
Courtesy photo

Revely Vail started in 2019 and it kicks off the brilliance of winter from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10. Join in all sorts of early season activities from Vail’s Opening Day, over Thanksgiving weekend and into early December.

Vail ornament making will start on Nov. 18. Pick up your free ornament-making kit while supplies last at Lionshead or Vail Village Welcome Centers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Groove to tunes at the Silent Disco on Nov. 26 and Dec. 4. Get into the holiday spirit with the Revely Tree Lighting on Dec. 27.

For more information, go to

Magic of Lights Vail

The Magic of Lights Vail returns to the Ford Park and Betty Ford Alpine Gardens for its second season.
Courtesy photo

Magic of Lights Vail returns for its second year after a successful inaugural season last winter. Over 500,000 lights will once again fill the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, the Lower Bench of Ford Park and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater area, which is just east of Vail Village.

Support Local Journalism

Don your boots and warm coat, hat and mittens for this half-mile stroll through a winter wonderland of lights and interactive elements. Stop by the concession stand for snacks and a hot alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, enjoy the warmth of the fire pits and s’more stations, and new this year is a playground area for the kids. There will also be music and live performances on select evenings.

Between now and Nov. 8, enjoy 20% off all ticket orders. Magic of Lights Vail begins on Nov. 19 and runs through Jan. 2 and opens at 5 p.m. For more information, go to

Beaver Creek World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition

Beaver Creek hosts the World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition on Nov. 24, Opening Day. Cookie Time also returns daily at 3 p.m. throughout the season.
Vail Resorts / Courtesy photo

An Opening Day tradition returns to Beaver Creek this year. The Beaver Creek World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition will cap off Opening Day activities on Nov. 24 as thousands of skiers and riders come off the hill early to try some of the thousands of cookies vying for top honors.

Five finalists were chosen earlier this fall because of their delicious recipes. All five will bake one thousand cookies each and serve them out of the Plaza in Beaver Creek Village starting at 2 p.m. These cookies go fast, so get in line early to make sure you get to try as many as you can before they are gone. Vote for your favorite cookie with tokens provided at the event. The winner’s recipe will be named the “World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe of Beaver Creek” for the 2021-2022 season.

Speaking of cookies, good news: Cookie Time, where warm, fresh and free cookies are handed out to skiers and riders coming off the hill, returns to Beaver Creek daily at 3 p.m. throughout the season. For more information, visit

Beaver Creek Tree Lighting

For over 40 years, Beaver Creek has hosted its annual holiday tree lighting the day after Thanksgiving. The 41st annual Beaver Creek Tree Lighting will be held on the Plaza from 5 to 7 p.m.

After a day on the slopes, stick around and join in the revelry and spirit of the holidays with harmonies and melodies by Beverly Belles, Brothers of Brass, view ice skating shows, Santa and more. After the light switch is flipped on the tall holiday tree, listen for the sounds of fireworks and gaze overhead for an amazing show.

This is a free, family-friendly event. For more information, go to

Vail Snow Days

Snow Days is bringing in headliners Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats and Dierks Bentley to the outdoor stage at Ford Park on December 3 and 4.
Courtesy photo

Vail Snow Days returns after taking a break last year, but makes up for it by bringing back the pub crawls, silent disco, Festival Village, headliner concerts and more. Celebrate the early part of the winter snowsports season starting on Dec. 2 with the Prey for Snow Pub Crawl and make it a long weekend culminating with Bloodies and Blues with the Runaway Grooms on Sunday.

While most of the events and activities will happen in town and on the slopes, the main concerts will take place outdoors at Ford Park. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats take the stage on Dec. 3 with opening act Dirt Miller. On Saturday, Dierks Bentley returns to Vail with opening act Jackson Dean. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and music starts at 6 p.m. both nights and these are ticketed shows. General admission is $30 and VIP tickets are $200. For more information on the schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit

World Cup Alpine Ski Racing

The Birds of Prey is back! Watch as the men’s fastest alpine ski racers descend upon the Golden Eagle run at Beaver Creek for the speed events on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour. The Birds of Prey is the men’s alpine ski racing team’s only stop in the United States. Before and after the races, stop by Birds of Prey Way for cool swag giveaways, live music, food, drinks and more.

The weekend will consist of two Super G Races and one Downhill race. The Super G race is a cross between a Downhill race and a Giant Slalom race. It consists of one run that is timed and the fastest to the bottom wins. There are a few more gates than what you’ll find in a downhill, but the racers are still going super-fast. The Super G takes place on Dec. 3 at 10:45 a.m. and on Dec. 5 at 12 p.m.

The Downhill race is the most exciting event to watch as it involves top speeds and plenty of risk. Speeds in Downhill often exceed 80 m.p.h. on major courses and require a hill with at least a 750-meter vertical drop. The Downhill will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m.

All races are free for spectators who can watch at the Red Tail Stadium at the race finish. This is your chance to see these racers in person before the 2022 Winter Olympics later this season. For more information, visit


Powabunga seeks to blend snowsports during the day and music during the night and some art sprinkled in between. After taking a break last year, Powabunga is back Dec. 9 -12 with the finest dance music from around the world.

The lineup includes Rüfüs Du Sol, Elderbrook, Bob Moses, Chanel Tres and Vintage Culture, just to name a few, bringing indie dance, funk house, electronic sounds and beyond to the outdoor stage at Ford Park.

The music and fun will continue late into the night with after-parties at Dobson Ice Arena, but get your tickets early, as those parties tend to sell out. For a full lineup and information on tickets, go to

Vail Holidays

Get in the holiday spirit with the Holiday Fun Run.
Jessie Klehfoth/Courtesy photo

Kick off the holidays early with the Kris Kringle Market and Holiday Fun Run and then wrap up the season with the New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Kris Kringle Market

Get your holiday shopping done early with the Kris Kringle Market on Dec. 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Vail Village turns into an outdoor shopping village where you can find handcrafted items made locally and regionally, baked goods, and presents for all ages – even your pets. Shop local and support local artisans this holiday season.

Vail Ugly Sweater 5k Fun Run

The operative word here is fun! Don your craziest holiday sweater and your running shoes for the annual Vail Ugly Sweater 5k Fun Run Fun, held on Dec. 11. Bring your friends, kids, even the dogs can dress up for this event that starts in Lionshead at 8:30 a.m. and wraps up around 11 a.m. This 5k is non-competitive and allows everyone to go at their own pace. Save your energy for the after party at Bart and Yeti’s, which serves at the start and finish for the run. A portion of the proceeds from the race will benefit Eagle Valley Community Foundation’s The Community Market and Toys for Tots.

Vail Tree Lighting

Beaver Creek lit its holiday tree during Opening Weekend on Nov. 26, Lionshead followed by lighting its holiday tree during Revely on Nov. 27. Now its time for Vail Village to light up the neighborhood with its annual tree lighting on Dec. 12 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Enjoy live music from kids to carolers and speeches from town dignitaries while one of Vail Village’s tallest trees gets to brighten up the night. Watch the skies for the bearded man in red with a sleigh, you never know when he’ll make an appearance.

Learn more about Vail Holidays at

Vail Winterfest

The 15th annual Vail Winterfest returns Dec. 19 and the Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places would like your creativity. For the past eight years, illuminated lanterns have become an integral part of this popular family-friendly celebration of light.

If you or a team of you and your creative friends want to try your hand at crafting a large-scale illuminated and kinetic lantern inspired by the puppet-like imaginative works in many lantern festivals and parades around the world, Art In Public Places would like to see what you can come up with.

Proposals for commissioned lanterns should include:

  • Sketch and written description of lantern
  • Materials
  • Dimensions

A stipend ranging from $250 – $500 (contingent on complexity, scale, and materials) will be awarded to commission selected lanterns to unveil during the opening of the Vail Winterfest on December 19. The works will then be considered for display at the Vail Public Library from December 20 through January 3.

Proposals are due Nov. 15. For more information, contact Molly Eppard, Art in Public Places Coordinator at For more information about Vail Winterfest go to

Fireworks on New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve fireworks will be set off from a central location on Vail Mountain and can be viewed from Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022 with fireworks on New Year’s Eve. This annual tradition in Vail is enjoyed by all ages. To help those of you who want to get to sleep before the clock strikes midnight so you can hit the slopes the next day, the fireworks show is earlier in the evening, just after the torchlight ski down, which starts around 6 p.m. Fireworks will be set off from a central location on Vail Mountain and can be viewed from Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. There are many viewing opportunities from the streets of Vail and Lionshead, the hotels, restaurants and bars and even the parking structures and across the highway.

For information on New Year’s Eve fireworks, go to

Support Local Journalism