Friday, December 18, 2009

Big Bear offers New Year's Eve fun

Snow Summit’s annual torchlight parade is Big Bear’s signature New Year’s Eve event, a holiday attraction not seen anywhere else in Southern California! The mountain resort is only a two hour drive from most Southern California communities and is a great escape from the norm. Thursday, December 31 at 7 p.m. 250 skiers and snowboarders, some dressed in eccentric holiday costumes, will descend down snow capped mountains with lit torches to create a spectacular display of illumination. The free event can be seen from a range of vantage points throughout Big Bear.

“It’s like a bleeding volcano,” described Big Bear Lake Resort Association CEO Rick Shoup. “It’s like something you would see at the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies.”

Besides the torchlight parade, Big Bear has a variety of recreational activities happening after the sun goes down including night-session skiing at Snow Summit, after-dark ice skating at Ice Garden Skating Rink and inner tubing under-the-lights at Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain. Festive celebrations happening throughout the valley include distinctive holiday menus, special musical guests, and reasonable admission charges. In fact, Northwoods Resort, Best Western Big Bear Chateau, Murray’s Saloon, B’s Backyard Bar-B-Que, and Nottinghams Restaurant all plan to bring down the house this New Year’s Eve with a bang!

Snow Summit is open for night skiing from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with a brief interruption of course for the torchlight parade. Celebrations at both ski resorts begin, after the impressive parade ends. Snow Summit is known for its fun filled evening of dancing and good times that goes well into the night with DJ Desi spinning high-energy music. The celebration begins at 8 p.m. and goes to 1 p.m. The cover charge is $10 and includes party favors and light appetizers.

Bear Mountain offers a more edgy festivity with DJ’s spinning modern rock and hip hop music. Club George is the featured DJ. Bear Mountain’s New Year’s Eve celebration starts at 9 p.m. and end at 1 a.m. The cover charge is $25 and includes heavy appetizers.

Northwoods Resorts New Years celebration features an electrifying dance fest from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Special guest DJs provide an assortment of danceable tunes from the disco and funk from yesteryear to today’s hottest jams. The cost for the party is $25 per person and includes a champagne toast. Stillwell’s restaurant will serve a little bit of everything on New Year’s Eve to please just about any palette from appetizers such as jumbo shrimp cocktails to main course dinners such as roasted Atlantic salmon or hickory smoked New York steak. Dinner is separate from the party and will be served from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Licensed childcare is available from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Cost is $10 per child. Reservations for dinner and/or childcare service are required.

Le Bistro at the Best Western Big Bear Chateau provides an elegant atmosphere for a relaxed New Year’s celebration. Guests can enjoy an appetizing dinner from a choice menu that includes filet mignon Australian lobster, Chilean sea bass, French rack of lamb and shrimp scallop with capellini pasta. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prices range from $29 to $75. Tiffany’s Lounge, which is adjacent to the Bistro, is hosting New Year’s Countdown with Bill Baker, which includes a glass of champagne at midnight. The celebration is from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission is $25 per person or $40 per couple.

The New Year’s Eve Bash at Nottinghams Restaurant has a special menu for the evening. After dinner, in Friar Tuck’s Tavern, Izon Eden will provide entertainment with a rock ‘n’ roll twist. The cover charge is $35, which includes two drinks (well, house wine or beer), a champagne toast, noisemakers and other party favors. The party begins at 6 p.m. with live music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Rounding off the New Years celebrations include B’s Backyard Bar-B-Que and Murray’s Saloon featuring live music, party favors and champagne toast. Admission is free for both of these events.

Guests must be 21 years or older and reservations are recommended for all Big Bear New Year’s Eve celebrations. To learn more about New Year’s Eve in Big Bear or to book reservations for lodging, log on to or call 1.800.4.BIG.BEAR (1.800.424.4232).

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