Mt. Eyak’s annual torchlight parade and fireworks lights up ski area

Spectators enjoyed the torchlight parade from the top of the bunny hill at Mt. Eyak Ski Area on Saturday, Jan. 8. Photo courtesy from Sun Yung An

Mt. Eyak Ski Area hosted their annual torchlight parade and firework show Saturday, Jan. 8.

Around 80 volunteer torchbearers arrived by 7 p.m. to catch a chairlift ride under the stars to Midway Station. The event, which is always weather permitting, was originally scheduled for New Year’s Eve but foul weather and wind postponed the event by a week. By 7:30 p.m. the ski area parking lot was full, and fireworks kicked off the show at 8 p.m. While some spectators watched from the warmth of their vehicles, others gathered at the top of the Bunny Hill.

Torchbearers caught a ride on Mt. Eyak’s chairlift and gathered at Midway station to receive their flares for Mt. Eyak’s annual torchlight parade. Photo courtesy from Janalie Howard
Torchbearers dispose their torches at the base of Mt. Eyak, creating a bonfire-like glow. Photo courtesy from Janalie Howard

With the rope tow fired up, the hill was bustling with sledders, skiers, and snowboarders. Others enjoyed the show from Whitshed Road ballpark and the harbor, both great vantage points for viewing the parade of lights.

When asked about the turnout, ski area manager Dave Branshaw replied, “Some years we have less and some years we have more, but it’s always a fun event, for sure.”

Flares attached with electrical tape to long sticks of wood for added safety were stuck in the snow at the base of Mt. Eyak following the torchlight parade. Photo courtesy from Janalie Howard
Torchbearer Ann Howard makes her way down Mt. Eyak Ski Area on skis. Photo courtesy from Janalie Howard