My wife treated the children to a night at Avalanche Bay at Boyne Mountain for New Years Eve. While her and I sat in the grandstand, sharing a few beers and playing Scrabble, the kids played in the water park. By 9pm, the heat and humidity of the water park overwhelmed me, and I decided to go for a walk outdoors. So while the kids played, and my wife relaxed with a drink and her cellphone, I trudged through the snow, camera in hand.
As I made way towards the ski hill, I noticed that the lifts were no longer running and a that a crowd was forming at the base of the mountain. Curious I investigated.
“What’s going on?” I asked a young couple.
“Torch Parade,” they answered. “It’s how they drop the ball at Boyne.”
“At 9:30,” I asked.
The couple laughed. “Well, by midnight everyone is too drunk to ski in the dark.”
At that point, the skiers, blazing red torches in hand, boarded the lift. I rushed back to my car to fetch my tripod, hoping the show wouldn’t begin before I returned. By the time I was set up, the last of the skiers reached the top of the hill.
The skiers circled up additional torches were laid out in the number ’15’. I found a place at the base of the hill, just as a Boyne employee emerged from the dark with a flashlight. “No one past this line,” he called out as he waved his arms in the air. I was blessed to be near the front of the crowd. Although I am extremely happy with how my photographs turned out, they still do not do justice to the beauty of the parade.
Once the skiers all reached the base of the hill, the fireworks began.
Once the show was over, I packed up my gear and returned to the water park. Walking through the resort, I was astonished how much there was do for those who were not skiing. I made a note in my phone to return one evening with my family to experience everything Boyne Mountain Resort has to offer.