Image courtesy of Matt Banks / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
There is a lot to love about New Year’s Eve – a fresh start, fireworks, champagne, fun with friends and family – but our favorite part about this holiday is how universal it is. This is one celebration that crosses borders and faiths and is celebrated worldwide.
At Westmark Hotels, we are fortunate to meet people from across the globe who stay with us while traveling around Alaska and the Yukon. Whether you are from the Great North, the Lower 48 or another country, we welcome you this holiday season and look forward to helping you ring in 2014 in style!
The following is a roundup of New Year’s Eve events that will take place in Westmark Hotel communities. And if you’re looking to find out about other events happening around town, just check in with your hotel’s front desk staff.
On Dec. 31, starting at 8 p.m., join Fairbanks community members at the University of Alaska Fairbanks West Ridge Overlook for the Fairbanks Curling Lions 25th annual Sparktacular Celebration. This event, sponsored by more than a dozen local businesses and organizations, features a brilliant fireworks display as well as free hot chocolate and cookies at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. The museum galleries will be open to the public at no charge from 7-9 p.m.
Anchorage rings in the New Year in a big way, with the annual NECA/IBEW Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve Celebration. Since the sun still shines high in the sky in the evening of Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve offers Alaskans a chance to enjoy firework displays, which are always a much-anticipated event. This annual New Year’s Eve spectacle, which occurs from 5 – 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, brings Town Square Park in downtown Anchorage to life with live music, a light show, fire dancers and jugglers, silk acrobats, street performers and – of course – the spectacular show of fireworks. The center of Town Square Park converts into an ice rink for everyone to enjoy, and nearby vendors and cafés serve up hot drinks and a place to warm up.
If dancing is your thing and you love to swing, then the state capital is where you want to be on Dec. 31. Join fellow dance enthusiasts as they celebrate the arrival of 2014 at the Juneau Jazz & Classics fourth annual “Swing in the New Year” Dance Extravaganza, which takes place at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center and will feature the Thunder Mountain Big Band and special guests. Enjoy big band hits, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Proceeds from this night benefit the Juneau Jazz & Classics Music Festival. Tickets are available at www.jazzandclassics.org, at Hearthside Books locations, and at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center box office.
One of Whitehorse’s biggest parties of the year will take place just minutes from the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel & Conference Center. The Whitehorse New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Canada Games Centre is a family-friendly carnival that offers all sorts of fun with games, live music, dancing, food, prizes and, once again, a magnificent fireworks display. And, if you’re lucky, the night sky may even offer up a colorful celebration of its own with a display of the aurora borealis.