Ringing in the new year in the Columbia Valley

To mark the end of 2012 and usher in a brand new year a number of communities are holding special events.

New Years in the Columbia Valley is always a busy time, and to mark the end of 2012 and usher in a brand new year a number of communities are holding special events.


In the Village of Radium Hot Springs, New Year’s celebrations wouldn’t be complete without the annual Radium birthday party and fireworks presentation. This year, Radium has even more to celebrate as, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Radium Community Hall on Stanley St., the village will kick off its new brand — Radium Wonder Land. The new brand seeks to diversify and expand Radium’s tourism industry by focusing on signature tourism experiences.

Also beginning at 3 p.m. at the Community Hall, there will be chili, hot dogs, coffee and birthday cake for anyone who attends, and skating, sledding and bonfires to keep the public entertained until the main event later that night. Birthday cake for Radium’s 22nd birthday will be served at 5:15 p.m., and the annual fireworks display will take place at 6:30 p.m. sharp at the Springs Golf Course driving range, located at 7565 Columbia Avenue in Radium.

Fairmont Hot Springs

At Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, the holiday celebrations start a bit earlier, and although the Torch Light Parade and first fireworks celebration took place on December 24, there’s still plenty to do leading up to — and on — New Year’s itself. On Thursday (December 27), there is a Festive Spirits Wine Tasting event in the resort’s lobby from 5 to 6 p.m., and free family movie nights from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th. On December 31, the resort is also offering activities for both young and old when New Year’s celebrations get underway in earnest. From 7 to 8:30 p.m., there will be a free Kids New Year’s Eve Party, complete with games, treats, sparkling cider and a dance party. Fireworks take place at 9 p.m. outside the front of the lodge. For those looking for a more mature experience, the Fairmont New Year’s Eve Gala is sure to entertain, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Cedar Room. The theme this year will be a Monster Masquerade Ball, and there will be prizes for the best costume. The gala runs until 1 a.m., and will feature party favours, music, dancing, a festive buffet and a glass of bubbly at midnight. Tickets are $75 and must be reserved in advance from the Lodge Front Desk.


Back by popular demand, the Panorama New Year’s Kids Party returns on Sunday, December 30. For the kids party, Panorama Mountain Village, Pepsi and Sysco Foods are offering a free evening of entertainment for kids age 6 to 12 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Copper Crown. The party will feature music, organized dancing (including the bird dance, YMCA, the Macarena and the Limbo) and kids will receive party hats, noise makers, pop and a bag of chips. Participants for the free kids party are asked to pre register by calling 1-866-601-7384. The following night on December 31, Panorama will hold a torchlight parade beginning at 9:25 p.m., when Panorama staff will make their way down the Showoff run, offering a great view of a trail of fire coming down the mountainside. Fireworks will begin shortly after the parade. Panorama is also offering a number of New Year’s Eve packages which can be viewed by visiting their website at www.panoramaresort.com.


While the District of Invermere won’t be holding any official celebrations of its own for New Year’s Eve, The Station Pub promises to have some great music and some great food. The Pub Jesters featuring Johnny McCuaig take the stage around 9 p.m. and will play for most of the night, and The Station will provide free snacks around 11 p.m. and a complimentary drink for the countdown at midnight. Cover is $20.