Tahoe events: Merry Days & Holly Nights kicks off at Squaw | SierraSun.com

Tahoe events: Merry Days & Holly Nights kicks off at Squaw

Fire dancers and a torchlight parade will be part of the opening ceremonies on December 17.
Courtesy photo |

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is hosting the first-ever Merry Days & Holly Nights festival, two weeks of spirited events and activities taking place December 17-31.

Merry Days & Holly Nights will bring Santa to town, along with spectacular music and dance performances, delicious Farm-to-Table Dinners, parties and fireworks to ring in the new year.

Below is a quick breakdown of event highlights:

Santa True

Two weeks of festivities begin with Santa Claus arriving in style at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

As a member of The Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, “Santa True” is the real thing, with a Bachelor in Clauseology from the Santa School and The Santa Claus Conservatory.

Santa will be out and about on the mountain and in the Village and, on select evenings, he will be telling classic Christmas stories by the fire with milk and cookies.

Holiday Festivities and Village Fun

The Village at Squaw Valley will be decorated in “Olde World Christmas” style with storefront vignettes from Christmases past.

Opening ceremonies on December 17 will feature a tree-lighting ceremony, fire dancers and torchlight parade, followed by horse-drawn carriage rides and procession to Merry Wonderland at Olympic Village Lodge, where guests will enjoy the lighting of the Ice Garden and Taste of Squaw, a complementary selection of signature bites from Squaw Valley restaurants, while the Silver Dollar Chorus performs in the giant Singing Christmas Tree.

Ongoing celebrations include ice sculpture demonstrations in the Ice Garden, mini Polar Express train for kids, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling with The Great Basin Carolers, live music, kids’ games and movies.

Other events include Santa’s Pancake Breakfast, BigTruck Sew-on-Site, Christmas Candle Light Service and the White Out Soiree to benefit the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Foundation.

Merry Days & Holly Nights culminates on New Year’s Eve with live music, fireworks, torch light parade and the Squaw Valley Prom.

Feature Performances

Merry Days & Holly Nights will welcome national performing artists, including two nights of the Holly Feet & Grinch’s Groove show featuring the Utah Ballroom Dance Company, Truckee Dance Factory and a Grinch Look-a-Like contest for kids judged by Santa True himself.

The Reno Jazz Orchestra will perform on December 21, followed by a production of Handel’s Messiah by the Toccata Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on December 23.

Ski and Ride with Jonny Moseley

Early risers can experience Dawn Patrol with Chief Mountain Host and Olympic Gold Medalist, Jonny Moseley December 26 through December 30.

Get exclusive access to untouched corduroy or fresh powder on coveted intermediate and advanced terrain at Squaw Valley.

Jonny will also be hosting exclusive ski tours at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows that will include the Demo Center staff’s expertise in finding the skis and boards best suited for the day’s conditions.

New and Exclusive Farm to Table Dinner Opportunities

Squaw Valley’s famed summer Farm-to-Table Dinner series hosts two exclusive holiday pop-ups: Don’t miss the one-night-only Farm-to-Table Dinner with Olympians on December 27, while on December 28, a Farm-to-Table Dinner and a Movie will take place with the family-friendly feature “The Secret Life of Pets.”

Served family style by the giant hearth in the historic Olympic Village Lodge, the Farm-to-Table dinners are created by the resort’s talented Executive Chef Tiffany Swan in collaboration with the Tahoe Food Hub and other local farmers.

Moonlit Snowshoe and Dinner at Alpine Meadows

After the mountain closes and the winter moon rises, experience a snowshoe tour to the mid-mountain Chalet at Alpine Meadows.

Guests enjoy an intimate seated dinner and Alps-inspired menu with dishes like potato cheese soup, chicken cordon bleu and apple strudel. This unique experience is only available during select dates this winter season and space is very limited.

This article was provided on behalf of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Visit squawalpine.com to learn more.

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