Winterfest Returns to Vail Village

And brings Denver-based light installation artists Alt Ethos with it.

By Kirsten Dobroth December 16, 2019

Town of Vail's annual Paper Lantern Parade through Vail Village.

Although Birds of Prey and Snow Days—and nearly 3-feet of new snow(!)—are now behind us, the holiday season at Vail and Beaver Creek marches on. Next up? Winterfest, the annual holiday celebration put on by Town of Vail's Art in Public Places. Families have two opportunities to make their own paper lanterns (the first being  Friday's "Cocktails & Canvas" lesson, hosted by Alpine Arts Center in Lionshead on Friday, December 20 at 4:30 p.m., and the second on Sunday, December 22 at noon in the Vail Public Library) and show them off as they walk down Bridge Street in the annual Holiday Lantern Walk through Vail Village (4 p.m., Sunday, December 22), which culminates at Vail Village's Gore Creek Promenade with live music and a visit from Santa.

New to this year's line-up? An exhibition by technology creatives Alt Ethos, who will be illuminating the promenade and ice carvings by returning ice sculptor Paul Wertin with colorful LEDs reminiscent of the Northern Lights each evening until January 20 (dusk through 10 p.m. each night). If you think you've heard of Alt Ethos before, you probably have. The Denver-based creative group has been involved with the annual holiday light display at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and Meow Wolf—Santa Fe's pyschedelic, multimedia art attraction that has steadily amassed nationwide raves from a plethora of publications. For Vail Village's Winterfest, the light-inspired creatives worked with ice sculptor Wertin to create an illuminated art installation reminiscent of a campfire (with ice benches for seating). A spectrum of colored LED lights will also be focused on the Covered Bridge, and trees along Gore Creek as it trickles through the Promenade. "The Gore Creek Promenade has such a gorgeous palette to work with, and we are looking forward to making it even more radiant,” says Alt Ethos producer Erin O’Brien. If you happen to stop by opening night, complimentary hot cocoa while you gaze up at the stars should make it all even more spectacular. 

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