Vail Family Holidaze begins Saturday
VAIL – Vail Family Holidaze, the annual event for families and children surrounding the holiday season, is set to return to Vail from Saturday through Dec. 25 and Dec. 31. Vail Family Holidaze 2011 will encompass a wide variety of holiday activities, all of which are complimentary and open to the public.Vail Family Holidaze kicks off on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. with the tree-lighting ceremony at Slifer Plaza in Vail Village. An annual tradition in Vail, this celebration is a great way to get in the holiday spirit as the plaza comes alive with holiday carols, appearances by Vail dignitaries and the lighting of the plaza’s iconic 50-foot-tall spruce tree.Vail Family Holidaze continues at 8 a.m. in Lionshead on Sunday with the Jingle Bellz Snowshoe, a noncompetitive fun run/walk on Vail Mountain. Snowshoers of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate in this event, making it a great activity for the whole family. There is no cost to participate in the Jingle Bellz Snowshoe, and registration includes free jingle bells to wear on course. Preregistration information can be found at http://www.vail.com/holidaze, and day-of registration will be available on site in Lionshead from 7 to 7:45 a.m. For those participants needing snowshoes, rentals will be available on site at the event.On Monday and Tuesday, Vail Family Holidaze will present two holiday concerts, both of which will be complimentary and open to the public. On Monday, at Solaris Plaza, a cappella group Wonder Voice will perform powerful renditions of holiday favorites and greatest hits from the past 70 years. The Colorado Children’s Chorale will take the stage in Solaris Plaza on Tuesday for a concert that will feature classic holiday songs, as well as other pieces from its extensive repertoire. The venue at Solaris Plaza opens at 3:30 p.m. for both concerts, and music begins at 5 p.m.Winter Solstice on Ice returns to the ice rink at Solaris Plaza on Wednesday through Dec. 23 for three performances. Winter Solstice on Ice brings world-class ice skaters, such as 2011 World Champion Patrick Chan and 2010 U.S. National Champion Rachel Flatt, to the heart of Vail Village to perform singles, pairs and group programs. All Winter Solstice on Ice performances are free and open to the public. Performances will begin at 5 p.m. each day.On Dec. 21-23 from 3:15 to 4 p.m., children are invited to enjoy the experience of a lifetime by joining national and international ice skating competitors asthey share the ice at the Arrabelle at Vail Square and Solaris Plaza beforethey perform in Winter Solstice on Ice. As spaces will be limited for this event, those interested in participating are encouraged to register early at the skate rental shops at each rink. Participants in Skate with the Stars must be competent ice skaters. Visit the FAQ page at http://www.vail.com/holidaze for more details on registration for Skate with the Stars.New this year, Vail Family Holidaze will be turning Vail Village and Lionshead into a winter wonderland with multiple free, holiday-themed activities for kids and theirfamilies in the Kids Zone. Children can pick up a Kids Zone map at any of the event stations, marked throughout Vail Village and Lionshead with candy cane striped poles, which will guide them through all of the nine Kids Zone stations. Children who visit all the Kids Zone stations between Dec. 19 and 24 will receive a Vail Family Holidaze prize. The Kids Zone will take place Monday through Saturday through Dec. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. each day. Kids Zone activities include ornament making, snowman decorating, the Vail Arctic Express train rides presented by First Bank, Santa’s Workshop sponsored by the VailRecreation District, fireside story time and a puppet theater at the Vail Public Library, s’more making, Caroling Karaoke, entertainers and more. Children are invited to the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead on Dec. 24 to enjoy the Kids After Dark Party from 6-8 p.m. The celebration will consist of activities and games complete with music, prizes and glow sticks. On Tuesday guests can to take part in the first night of Hanukkah during the Menorah Lighting Ceremony in Slifer Plaza. The B’nai Vail Jewish Congregation will light the Menorah at the same time and place each of the following nights of Hanukkah. Visit http://www.vail.com/holidaze to learn more.