Ring in New Year with Snow Summit Torchlight Parade and VIP Party

It is universally agreed upon that the year 2016 blew chunks, so perhaps what is required is a karma-shifting way to ring in 2017.

Why not venture up to the San Bernardino Mountains to celebrate the new year by watching something truly awesome?

That's a fitting description of the annual Torchlight Parade at Snow Summit Ski Resort in Big Bear, where skiers holding torches descend the slopes in formation to provide a truly stunning view.

Gates open at 7 p.m. Saturday with music, face painting, snow tubing, stilt walkers, a photo booth, bounce housing (or house bouncing?) and more. Next comes the parade, followed by a fire dance and finally, to coincide with the East Coast time zone, a “New York Ball Drop” at 9 p.m.

Best of all, it's free!

Better of all, if you purchase a $5 to $40 ticket, you can get into a VIP party at the resort that features carnival performers, kids activities and, starting at 10 p.m., a live performance by the Long Beach Dub Allstars.

And at midnight, the snow(ball) drops!

Click here to snag VIP tickets.

If you go to both or either event, you are advised to dress warmly as this is all being thrown outdoors.

If you go to tube, dress appropriately for that.

If you go up earlier in the day to ski or snowboard, I would advise you to buy lift tickets ahead of time, rent any gear you need outside the resort and get on the mountain as soon as possible. This is based on my trip to Big Bear Wednesday, when I left OC around 8 a.m., zoomed up to the hill in barely any traffic—and then it took me an hour and a half to inch the final 3 miles or so to the resort due to all the freakin' vehicles.

After encountering similar large crowds heading over to Bear Mountain, I wound up driving back down to Snow Valley outside Running Springs, where a grand time was had by all. I still have the burning thighs to prove it!

It's a shame, though, because I intended to post photos of Snow Summit's 5,000-square-foot Adventure Academy, a new, $1 million, one-stop shop for tickets, rentals and sports school registration.

If you actually make it to the place Saturday, will you send me a shot?

Snow Summit Ski Resort is at 880 Summit Blvd., Big Bear Lake.

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