Christmas Eve on Ice

Backstage at teh Christmas Eve Ice Show

Backstage at the Christmas Eve Ice Show, party scene girls are ready for their spotlight

It’s hard to remember the exact year, but two or three holidays ago, while I helped backstage at the highly anticipated Christmas Eve Ice Show, it started to snow. The grand production was well underway and dozens of talented skaters spun and leaped around Sun Valley’s famous outdoor ice rink (the largest year-round outdoor rink in the world). Spotlights captured the falling snowflakes as they began to land on the skater’s lashes and vintage costumes, on the hats and scarves of the full-to-capacity audience. Quickly, the pace of the storm increased, and thick, heavy flakes, that looked like they might have been created in Hollywood (cue the snow), began to fall in earnest. The skaters were veiled in the snowy mist, their jeweled dresses sparkled in the lights, skate blades cut through the accumulating powder. It had been a light early snow season that year and this gift on Christmas Eve was on everyone’s wish list.

Some of the older members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club rehearse their number

Members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club practice until it's perfect

The Nutcracker on Ice is a tradition that always has an element of magic, whether it comes in the form of snowfall, the appearance of an Olympian among the local skaters, a shooting star streaming across a crisp Idaho holiday sky. It is a tradition that my family has embraced now for six years. As the mother of two figure skaters (and their little brother who always got the role of a mouse because I needed them all in the same place), I have enjoyed the pleasure of a behind-the-scenes perspective on this show – a favorite of guests and locals alike.  When the girls were little, I volunteered backstage, as the “quick-change” helper. This meant I was supposed to assist the skaters out of one costume and into another for the next scene. Allow me to tell you, though, there is nothing “quick” about changing little girls who are in ice skates out of their party scene dresses and into a candy cane costume, but these nights were filled with camaraderie, high excitement and a great deal of fun.

Skaters with props

Local skaters practicing with their props

Two years ago, I moved out of my role of backstage mom and watched the production in full for the first time. Seated shoulder-to-shoulder with the entire Wood River Valley and guests from all over the country and the world, I happily sipped cocoa, waved to friends and was amazed by the skaters I see every day performing the charming choreography professionally and flawlessly. They practice a lot and it shows. When the Sun Valley Carolers arrived by sleigh, setting the performance in motion, the large crowd collectively inhaled before bursting into appreciative applause.

From this vantage point in the bleachers (which are unreserved and first-come, first-served for this show), I was again able to enjoy the traditional torchlight parade featuring ski school instructors, torches held aloft, navigating the face of Dollar Mountain. As far back as 1987, my family drove up a nearby hill and watched this stunning parade of fire before we went home to open gifts. Oh, and did I mention the fireworks that follow? Spectacular! As much as I liked being in the skate house, taking in the entire experience from the vantage point of the audience was magical, indeed.

The kids cast of the Christmas Eve Ice Show

The children's cast for this Monday's performance

The Christmas Eve Ice Show is something that all members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club and local skating community look forward to each year as much as the audience does. As the children grow, so do their parts and responsibilities. My little girls of six years ago are now the big girls, helping the little ones navigate their first ice show. The show’s choreographer, Gia Guddat said she loves to watch the skaters grow from party scene girls, to Candyland sweets, to snow angels. And everyone involved enjoys performing for the huge audience, giving this gift to the community.

At 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the place to be in Sun Valley is on the Lodge Terrace enjoying cocoa and a snack, then onto the bleachers (bring a blanket to sit on and bundle up) to enjoy the sights and sounds of a Sun Valley Christmas on Ice. The show is sure to become a tradition for your family, too.

–RES

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

My daughter as a cake

My daughter's smile says it all at the end of last year's show. It is a wonderful night

Head Demo Day at River Run

Head Demo Day at River Run

9am – 4pm

Call 622-6123 for more information

River Run Aprés Ski – The Spiffs

River Run Aprés Ski – The Spiffs

River Run Lodge

December 22 & 23

3pm–6pm

Holiday Window Stroll

Holiday Window Stroll

Daily, November 23 – January 4
Sun Valley Village Shop Windows

A free and interactive self-guided stroll through the Village. The theme, “Celebrating the Language of the Holidays”, honors the cultural diversity of holidays and festive celebrations around the globe. Participants will receive “passports” to be stamped inside at every window location, each bearing a holiday greeting in a different language. A special seasonal confection will be given out at the end of the stroll.

Window Stroll Picture Window Stroll Picture Window Stroll Picture Window Stroll Picture Window Stroll Picture

Gingerbread Decorating Fun

Gingerbread Decorating Fun

Saturday, December 22 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Boiler Room, Sun Valley Village

Children will delight in the delicious task of building their own gingerbread houses while surrounded by the enchanting Gingerbread Village. All creations may be taken home. Refreshments will be available. Cost is $30.

Breakfast With Santa

Lodge Dining Room

Saturdays & Sundays, December 8–December 23

Sure to become a Sun Valley tradition, enjoy a delectable breakfast buffet with Santa as special guest.  The perfect opportunity for the seasonal photo with Santa.

Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children, ages 12 and under; Children ages 3 and under are free.

Reservations:  208-622-2800

Gingerbread Decorating Fun

Boiler Room, Sun Valley Village

Children will delight in the delicious task of building their own gingerbread houses while surrounded by the enchanted Gingerbread Village.  All creations may be taken home.

Refreshments will be served.

Cost is $30

 

 

Sun Valley Carolers

Sun Valley  Village

Nightly, December 15–December 30

For 37 years the Sun Valley Carolers have strolled throughout the Sun Valley Village enchanting guests with magical sounds of the season.  Look for the Carolers decked out in their beautiful Dickens’ costumes as they sing around the Village and resort restaurants.

Gingerbread Village

Boiler Room, Sun Valley Village

A 20 x 30 ft. gingerbread re-creation of the Sun Valley Village, Bald Mountain and the Snowball Express train will be displayed here through January 4.  A fantasy winter wonderland replica of Sun Valley during its glamorous debut as America’s first destination resort.

Holiday Window Stroll

Sun Valley Village

A free and interactive self-guided stroll through the Village.  The theme, “Celebrating the Language of the Holidays”, honors the cultural diversity of holidays and festive celebrations around the globe.  Participants will receive “passports” to be stamped inside at every window location, each bearing a holiday greeting in a different language.  A special seasonal confection will be given out at the end of the stroll.