The holidays may be over, but winter is still in full swing with plenty of activities and festivals around the country to celebrate the season. There’s an event for participants of all ages and interests, and many – despite the chilly weather – still take advantage of the brisk temperatures. Whatever conditions they face, planners for these fascinating winter festivals embrace them in various ways, so there are some lessons the events industry can learn from their strategies. Here are some of the more captivating celebrations coming up for Winter 2017.
American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race & Festival: Every February, skiers of all levels descend upon Hayward, Wisconsin for the American Birkebeiner festival, bringing with them throngs of spectators eager to watch the main event: The Birkie cross country ski race. Set among the grandeur of the Northwoods in winter, the beauty isn’t the only thing attracting the crowd: It’s the ability to participate in various ski-related activities that appeal to the non-professional ski aficionado.
- Get Everyone Involved: Enthusiasts of all ages and experience are welcome to get involved in the fun. There’s a race for the kids and the “Giant Ski,” where teams compete in a 50-yards long race – with all six members on a pair of 25-foot long skis.
Pingxi, Taiwan Sky Lantern Festival: Chinese New Year tends to draw attention throughout the world, but a subtler event marks winter in February 2017. People across Asia celebrate the annual Sky Lantern Festival by releasing up to 200,000 hot air lanterns into the sky when the moon is at its fullest. The visual spectacle is stunning in Pingxi, Taiwan, a remote town in the mountains outside Taipei.
- Stay Authentic: The Sky Lantern Festival aligns with its historical roots, originating during the Xing Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago. Groups of marauders would raid some of the lowland villages, driving residents to the mountains. Night watchmen used the hot air lanterns to send signals, letting the villagers know it was safe to return to their homes.
Vail Winter Jazz, Vail, CO: Vail becomes a destination for some of the most respected jazz musicians throughout the world every year from January through March. For Winter 2017, the audience can expect a range of jazz styles to swing and groove along to as they enjoy dinner and beverages surrounded by the unmatched beauty of the Gore Mountain Range.
- Take Advantage of Your Surroundings: It’s hard to image a better backdrop for a concert than the gorgeous mountains of Vail Resort. The Sonnenalp Hotel transforms into an intimate venue, set on the rooftop terrace where the audience enjoys hot jazz in the cool weather.
These fascinating winter festivals offer countless opportunities for the events industry to borrow a few ideas, gain some inspiration, and learn a few lessons about what captivates the audience. What are some of your favorite festivals for the season? Will you be attending an unusual celebration over the next couple months? We’d like to hear what you think in the comments below.
Image source: American Birkiebeiner Ski Foundation
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