New Year’s Eve fireworks, live music, Magic of Lights, Vail Winterfest, comedy and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 12/31/21 |

New Year’s Eve fireworks, live music, Magic of Lights, Vail Winterfest, comedy and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 12/31/21

View fireworks displays from both Vail and Beaver Creek, check out the last weekend for Magic of Lights Vail and have fun at Beaver Creek’s Family Fun Fest

New Year’s Eve at Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek will host its annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks display at 10 p.m. Activities such as live music with Rewind, a DJ, ice skating and more happen earlier in the evening.
Chris Dillmann/

You could roll straight from the slopes into 2022 with all of the events and activities happening in Beaver Creek for New Year’s Eve, where the celebration starts in the afternoon. The family-friendly resort has plenty of ways to entertain the whole group while waiting for the year to end. The ice rink will be open from 1p.m. until 8 p.m. along with the shops, galleries, restaurants and fire pits (don’t forget to grab a s’mores kit) to help you last until midnight – on the East Coast.

Beaver Creek knows you want to get out on New Year’s Day and carve some turns, so everything starts earlier to accommodate an earlier bedtime. Here’s what’s on tap for Friday:

  • 3:30 p.m. – 80s cover band music with local favorite Rewind
  • 5:45 p.m. – Family-friendly DJ Courtney
  • 7:30 p.m. – Live music with the Denver Dolls
  • 8:45 p.m. – Family-friendly DJ Courtney
  • 10 p.m. – Fireworks can be viewed from all over the village and beyond
  • 10 p.m. – Watch the ball drop when the clock strikes 12 midnight in New York City in Times Square on the big LED screens around Beaver Creek Village. Complimentary non-alcoholic champagne will be served while supplies last.

Don’t forget, Beaver Creek Village has a Common Consumption Area (CCA), allowing those 21 years of age and older an opportunity to buy a drink at one of the restaurants and bars within the village and walk around. Get reservations at the restaurant of your choice if you want to dine in town as it will be busy.

This event is a non-ticketed event and is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available at the village lots, or parking is free after 1 p.m. in the lower lots with shuttles running continuously.

For more information, check out the Events section at or download the Beaver Creek Village Guide app for more details. The app also lists special deals and events happening at area shops, restaurants and galleries.

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New Year’s Eve at Vail

Fireworks can be seen throughout Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead and from many vantage points across I-70.
Chris Dillmann/

After you get off the slopes of Vail, wander through the villages and stop and listen to some live music outdoors. The Sam Bee Duo will be setting up for a free show in Lionshead and the Evolution Duo will be in Vail Village. Follow your ears to the music, which typically runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Live music will continue on Saturday with the Sam Bee Trio back in Lionshead and the Evolution Trio in Vail Village. On Sunday the 10th Mountain Trio will be in Lionshead and the Terry McCune Duo will be in Vail Village.

For even more music, head over to the International Bridge in Vail Village for the Silent Disco. Headphones will be available for free, and participants can listen to a few different genres of music indicated by the color of the light on the headphones. No one can hear what you are listening to, unless you belt out a little “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, and then everyone will know what channel you’re on.

It’s a fun, family-friendly way to get into the New Year’s Eve spirit. If you time it right, you can even groove to the fireworks display since the Silent Disco happens between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

The Torchlight Ski Parade has been canceled this year, but the fireworks are still set to go off at 6:25 a.m. Head over to the base of Golden Peak to feel as if you are under the fiery flares and sparkles from the fireworks or watch it from a multitude of locations. You’ll be able to watch the short fireworks display from Vail Village, Lionshead and from areas across I-70, so head to a window, a patio, even the top levels of the parking garages if you are on the go to view the spectacular colors in store during the fireworks show. For more information on the fireworks, go to

If you are looking to dine and party the night away, get reservations sooner than later as many places have sold out. The Red Lion, Bridge Street Bar, Deca Bol, Vail Chophouse and more are planning ticketed New Year’s Eve events. Please note that the New Year’s Eve Party scheduled for Garfinkel’s in Lionshead has been canceled, but they will be open for regular service.

If you missed the boat on getting tickets to the Studio 54 70s-style disco party at Shakedown Bar Vail on New Year’s Eve, save a little something for New Year’s Day and enjoy the Grateful Dead Show featuring Scott Rednor and Rob Eaton, Jr. of Brother’s Keeper and Mark Levy of Circles Around the Sun and Adrian Engfer of Grant Farm from 4 to 8 p.m.

Gessner at the Grand Hyatt Vail will be hosting a three-course dinner at 5:30 p.m. or five-course dinner at 8:30 p.m. with wine pairings. The menu will feature seasonal appetizers, Colorado inspired entrées such as filet mignon with a veal demi glaze and wonderful desserts including a signature triple chocolate cake (that diet doesn’t start until Jan. 1, right?). The dinner is open to resort guests and the public, call 970-476-1234 for reservations.

If you feel like staying home, why not laugh a little with the Comedy Test Kitchen, a virtual comedy show run by Mark Masters. This 30-minute online show runs from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and joining Masters this week is Kyle Ruff and there may be more surprise guests. The comedy show is free and can be viewed on YouTube or Facebook. Post your comments during the live show to be part of the action.

Comedians from coast to coast have been a part of the virtual offering. For more details, visit

Regardless of how late you stay up on New Year’s Eve, get up early and make some turns on New Year’s Day morning, which typically sees less traffic because of the revelry the night before. Pass restrictions run through Dec. 31, so if you have been waiting on the sidelines during all of these powder-filled storms, now’s your chance to get out early and get after it.

Vail’s hours right now on the front side are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with lifts in the Back Bowls closing at 3 p.m. Beaver Creek’s lifts run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the main mountain. If you are in Bachelor Gulch and need to get back to Beaver Creek Village, hop on the Bachelor Gulch Express (Lift No. 16) before it closes at 3:30 p.m.

Magic of Lights Vail

It’s the last weekend to enjoy the Magic of Lights Vail, an artful display of more than 500,000 lights east of Vail Village.
Courtesy photo

Back for a second season, Magic of Lights Vail is a one-of-a-kind celebration of lights offering a memorable, physically-distanced and safe activity for the entire family. This is the last weekend you can experience over one-half million lights that are artfully displayed along a half-mile area of the Lower Bench area of Ford Park and culminates in the beautiful Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. This is an area that most people don’t visit during the wintertime, so prepare to be wowed this season east of Vail Village.

How do you get there? The closest parking is located at the Vail Village Parking Structure which is free after 3pm. If you are staying in town, hop on the free In-Town or Golf Course bus and get off at the Golden Peak stop or walk to the Ford Park Lower Bench, which is approximately a half-mile walk from Vail Village and then keep in mind that you’ll be walking about a half mile through the Magic of Lights Vail, so size up the physical activity level of your group before proceeding to walk to the venue.

Wear plenty of layers and winter footwear as you’ll be going over sidewalks and steps in the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens area. Make sure the camera phone is charged up for several Instagram-worthy photo ops.

Hungry or thirsty? Swing by the concessions stand for s’mores and hot chocolate. There are various kinds of alcohol that can be used to spice up a hot drink of your choice.

Since the venue is so close to Golden Peak, it’s a prime viewing spot for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display that will kick off around 6:20 p.m., so if you have the 6 p.m. time slot, keep an eye on the sky for even more “magic of lights.”

This is a ticketed event with peak pricing during the holidays. Pick your scheduled time and for quick entry have your tickets pulled up on your phone or bring printed tickets.

Ticket prices:

  • Adults: $20
  • Children 3 to 12 years old: $10
  • Children 2 years and younger are free and do not require a ticket
  • For more information and to get tickets, visit

15th Annual Vail Winterfest

Vail Winterfest features colorful lanterns strung across the International Bridge and illuminated ice sculptures along Gore Creek.
Chris Dillmann/

Make sure the check out the illuminated ice sculptures that have recently popped up along Gore Creek with the 15th annual Vail Winterfest displays.

Art in Public Places debuted the 15th annual Vail Winterfest on Dec. 19. Come and enjoy the new ice sculptures carved out of approximately 25,000 pounds of sculpted ice. Paul Wertin and his team from Alpine Ice has once again created a whimsical display that defies gravity with the help of guest artist, Olive Moya of Denver, who most recently created artwork at the Vail Village Transportation Center.

The banks of Gore Creek are filled with all sorts of forms and icy figures ranging from 5-feet to 12-feet in height. At night, these sculptures will light up via colorful lighting.

It’s a short walk through the display, so don’t worry about bundling up as much as you would during the Magic of Lights Vail, but you do want to have on proper footwear as the packed-out snow surrounding the ice sculptures gets very slippery.

There are also colorful lanterns on display above and on either side of the International Bridge.

If you don’t make it out to Vail Winterfest this weekend, you can enjoy the illumination daily from dusk until 10 p.m. until the ice sculptures melt later this winter. For more information, go to

Beaver Creek’s Cheer

Enjoy a few more days of family fun after the slopes close with Beaver Creek Cheer.
Courtesy photo

All throughout the holidays, Beaver Creek Extraordinaire has presented Cheer, bringing storytelling, acrobatics, fire-handing, live music and much more to the plaza in Beaver Creek village. In addition to the New Year’s Eve events going on Friday night, check out the following:

  • Jan. 1 – Beaver Creek FunFest with DJ Courtney 4 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 2 – Fireside Storytime with Sven 4 -7 p.m.

The weekly FunFest on Saturday lets kids can earn tokens to redeem prizes after running from one game tent to the next. The whole family can enjoy playing carnival-style games like Bull’s Eye, Fish Bowl Frenzy, Leaping Lizards, Ring Toss and Snake Pit on the plaza level in Beaver Creek Village.

The complimentary event begins at 4 p.m. and last call to exchange tokens for prizes is at 5:30 p.m.

The Fossil Posse Dinosaur Show will take place on Saturday at 4 p.m. Artist Ken Carpenter will also be on hand to do complimentary caricatures from 4 to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit

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