After one season abruptly came to a halt, followed by another with capacity restrictions and limited aprés events, skiers are anxiously waiting to see what’s in store this season.
As much as we hate to admit it, the pandemic is far from over, and as a result, this ski season won’t be filled with shoulder-to-shoulder standing room in bars and unmasked large gatherings. It will, however, resemble somewhat of a normal season, at least when compared to last year.
With the new year quickly approaching, many are beginning to think about how to navigate New Year’s Eve festivities, or what they will even look like.
Some ski areas are opting out of hosting events altogether, while others are hopeful for a return to normal. Others are still waiting to see how the pandemic unfolds in the coming weeks before making any official announcements.
If you plan on heading to New England’s ski country for the new year, here are a few ways to celebrate.
Ledge Brewing Company, Intervale, N.H.
Ledge Brewing, the newest brewery in the Mount Washington Valley, has been the hot spot for locals and visitors since opening a little more than a year ago. In addition to its impressive lineup of beers — which often include a saison, various styles of IPAs, lagers, goses and other less common craft beers — the brewery quickly has made a name for itself as a popular hangout. Ledge often hosts live bands with food trucks, movie nights and other community events. New Year’s Eve will be no exception. North Conway’s Local Drama, which plays a variety of covers including reggae, ska, punk and a few classics, will be playing from 9 p.m. until midnight. There will be a $5 cover to get in.
Wobbly Barn, Killington, Vt.
Closed due to the pandemic last season, Killington is welcoming back the centerpiece of Vermont aprés — the Wobbly Barn. The nightclub frequently hosts dance parties and events and, in classic Killington fashion, will be doing so this New Year’s Eve. The Benderz, a Philadelphia-based cover band, will be performing to help celebrate the new year. Tickets for the 21-plus event will be $80 per person and include a champagne toast at midnight.
Woodstock Brewery, North Woodstock, N.H.
Located minutes from Loon Mountain in Woodstock, the Woodstock Brewery is hosting two New Year’s Eve events. Downstairs will have a casual vibe, with the Amanda McCarthy Band playing from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Reservations aren’t required, but there will be a $10 cover to get in.
For those looking to dress up for a fancier night out, there also will be a masquerade party happening upstairs at the brewery from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Mica’s Groove Train will be performing and there will be a cash bar. A $30 per person cover charge will get you into the party, with free appetizers all night. There will be a champagne toast at both parties to help ring in the new year.
Foggy Goggle, Sunday River, Maine
If you’ve skied Sunday River, you’re likely familiar with Foggy Goggle — the mountain’s go-to aprés spot. This year, Foggy Goggle will be celebrating the new year with live music performed by CC and Friends, a local jam rock cover band. There also will be fireworks and a fire dancer at the South Ridge Lodge.
Stowe Mountain Resort and Spruce Peak, Vt.
To some, Stowe is the pinnacle of Northeast skiing and riding. A combination of terrain, a high snowfall average, and a charming New England town with no shortage of cafes, breweries and restaurants make it the ideal winter getaway. Add to that a lively aprés scene, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find something missing in a Stowe ski vacation. If you plan on heading that way for the new year, Stowe and Spruce Peak will be hosting their annual New Year’s Eve festivity, which includes a torchlight parade, live music, a hot cocoa giveaway (with commemorative 85th anniversary logo mugs), and a performance by Cirque de Fuego.
Wachusett Mountain, Mass.
If heading to Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine isn’t on the agenda for holiday vacation week this year, there still will be some aprés-ski fun to be had in the hills of Massachusetts. Wachusett Mountain again will be hosting its “Ski Until Midnight” event to ring in 2022 from the slopes. While it might not be a “party” in the traditional sense, ripping down a groomer as the clock hits midnight is about the best way to welcome the new year.
Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt.
This year, Okemo has a packed New Year’s Eve lineup. Starting at 5:30 p.m., after a day of working the legs on the hill, guests will be invited to the Jackson Gore Base Area to continue the workout on the dance floor with a DJ-hosted dance party until 9 p.m. There also will be food, a cash bar, and a fireworks display after the DJ is done for the evening. It won’t be a late night, so you’ll still be able to get home and in bed in time to get first chair the next morning.
Josh Laskin can be reached at email@example.com.