Eaglecrest celebrates New Year's seven weeks late due to poor weather

Events begin at 4 p.m. Sunday with parade scheduled for 6 p.m.

Posted: Friday, February 16, 2007

Fireworks fans will get another chance to celebrate the New Year; or at least the slightly used year.

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The fireworks show at Eaglecrest Ski Area, originally scheduled for New Year's but postponed due to poor weather, has been rescheduled for this Sunday.

Events begin at 4 p.m. with food, live music and a bonfire. Fireworks will begin shortly after the 6 p.m. Torchlight Parade on skis.

It will all be worth the nearly two-month wait, said fireworks show coordinator Gary Stambaugh.

"The exciting thing about this show is you're really close to it," he said.

Stambaugh and his team begin preparations on Saturday in a dry and enclosed area before the big show on Sunday. The crew is using a specially designed sled that will carry the explosives to the top of Platter Run.

"We got some really neat special effects that are going to happen right in front of the people, which is going to be exciting," Stambaugh said.

Sunday's show is smaller and shorter than the annual Fourth of July fireworks, which are shot from a barge in Gastineau Channel, he said.

The display Sunday will last about 15 minutes, while the July shows are about 25 minutes long, Stambaugh said.

"We've got over 150 shells to shoot off," he said. "But with them so close, you get to really feel the concussion or the air waves moving through the valley."

Barb Lindh, vertical activities coordinator for Eaglecrest, said the show is much different than the Fourth of July display.

"They're very, very intense," she said. "You're only several hundred yards away."

The ski area is hoping for a large turnout, Lindh said.

"It's the same fireworks we would have had on New Year's, maybe even better," she said, since the crew had extra time to work on it.

"It's just a good thing to come up and experience," Stambaugh said. "It's a pretty explosive time."

Lindh said she didn't want to jinx the event, but said the weather looks like it may cooperate.

"So far the forecast is looking OK," she said. "I'm not saying it is looking tremendous."

If Sunday's weather is bad, the team will try again on Monday, the Presidents' Day holiday.

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