The 27th annual Winterfest, a monthlong celebration of everything winter in Flagstaff, kicks off Friday.
The Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Pepsi and Arizona Snowbowl have organized Winterfest to promote Flagstaff and attract tourists by raising awareness of the many things to do here in winter, including snowplay, cultural activities and other special events.
"Raising awareness of the delights of winter in Flagstaff is a great way to bring new customers to local businesses," said Chamber President/CEO Julie Pastrick.
Dominating this year's Winterfest calendar are two big events: the 10-day celebration of the 75th anniversary of Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort and the two-day Dew Downtown Urban Ski & Snowboard festival.
Snowbowl's anniversary celebrations include a special dinner party as well as a torchlight parade on the mountain.
Dew Downtown has expanded its offerings this year -- in addition to the skiers and boarders flying down San Francisco, there will also be a festival in Heritage Square featuring local restaurants and entertainment. Other events include films, concerts and theatrical events.
To launch Winterfest and the celebration of Arizona Snowbowl's 75th anniversary, Snowbowl will present a torchlight ski parade on the mountain at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Visitors are welcome to come and watch for free from the Hart Prairie Lodge. The resort will sell lift tickets at 75 percent off Friday afternoon as well.
Other Snowbowl anniversary events, which will be held Feb. 1-10, include the SnowDown dinner and a fireside chat with famous skiers associated with the ski resort. For more information visit arizonasnowbowl.com.
For the second year, the Dew Downtown Flagstaff Urban Ski & Snowboard Festival will serve as a highlight of Winterfest activities. The festival, set for Feb. 9-10, will feature ski and snowboard demonstrations and competition on the streets of historic downtown.
New for the 2013 event are an after-dark night ski session, a local restaurant booth with samples from downtown kitchens and a multi-stage music festival in Heritage Square. San Francisco Street will once again be transformed into a winter sport playground, where daredevils of all ages can grind, jump and shred over trashcans, guardrails and other urban obstacles.
"Dew Downtown Flagstaff puts an unusual spin on this type of event, taking it out of the big ski resort setting and into the streets of Flagstaff," said Mark Lamberson, owner of Mountain Sports and international ski and snowboard contest director.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, Dew festivities will take over Heritage Square, with two stages for live music and performing arts and a tent with winter crafts and activities for kids that will turn into a beer and wine garden for adults after dark. The entire weekend of events is free for spectators. Anyone can test this year's course on Saturday, Feb. 9 for a fee ranging from $10 to $20. The actual judged competition will take place on Sunday, Feb. 10 and also costs $10-$20 to participate. Registration is now open and can be completed online at dewdowntownflagstaff.com or in person at the Aquaplex, 1702 N. Fourth St.
Other Winterfest activities include:
SATURDAY, FEB. 2
-- Snowman Contest: 1-4 p.m. Arizona Snowbowl ski resort is sponsoring this snowman contest as part of its 10-day celebration of its 75th anniversary. Register by calling 214-4018.
-- Film "RISE": 3 p.m. Commissioned by U.S. Figure Skating, this film celebrates American figure skating while commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1961 U.S. Figure Skating Team that perished in a plane crash. Seating is limited. Proceeds benefit FFSC and the Skater Scholarship Fund. Flagstaff Aquaplex community room, 1702 N. Fourth St. $4.50 advance/$5 at the door.
-- Figure Skating Exhibition: 2:15-3:30 p.m. Hit the rink and see competition and recreational programs performed by local skaters at all levels. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit FFSC and the Skater Scholarship Fund. Jay Lively Activity Center, 1650 N. Turquoise Drive, $3 per person suggested donation
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 6
-- Fireside Chat: 5:30 p.m. Arizona Snowbowl history comes to life as Flagstaff's famous skiers share stories the historic ski resort. Bask in the glow of this Fireside Chat with Jimmie Nunn, Wayne Frerichs, Bill Williams, Karen Malis-Clark and Brian Dierker. Weatherford Hotel, Zane Grey Ballroom, 23 N. Leroux St.
FRIDAY, FEB. 8
-- Snowbowl Snowdown: 6 p.m. An elegant evening event to celebrate Arizona Snowbowl's 75th anniversary. Guest speakers and live music from Mogollon. High Country Conference Center, 201 W. Butler Ave, $38.
SATURDAY, FEB. 9
-- Dew Downtown Flagstaff Urban Ski & Snowboard Festival: Downtown Flagstaff, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
-- Kahtoola's 6th Annual Uphill Race: A 3-mile uphill race, raffle and fundraiser to benefit the Friends of Camp Colton. 4:30 p.m., check in at 2:30 p.m. at Hart Prairie Lodge, Arizona Snowbowl. Individual registration $40/$45, kahtoolaagassizuphill.com.
SUNDAY, FEB. 10
-- Dew Downtown Flagstaff Urban Ski & Snowboard Festival: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
FRIDAY, FEB. 22
-- Cowboy Campfire: 7-10 p.m. Join Bill Vernieu, Tony Norris and special guest Jon Messinger when they gather for the 19th annual Cowboy Campfire. Singer and humorist Norris engages all ages with his tapestry of the old west, while Vernieu's versatility on the mandolin and guitar (and encyclopedic knowledge of cowboy songs) never fails to entertain. Messenger is an accomplished songwriter and guitarist with a rich voice as deep as a canyon. Hotel Weatherford, 23 N. Leroux, $15 general; $12 child or member of Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music, 779-1919.
SATURDAY, FEB. 23
-- Annual Bowl for Kids' Sake: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Event brings teams together for a day of bowling, prize giveaways and a raffle with items donated by local businesses to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Flagstaff. Starlite Lanes Bowling Alley, 3406 E Route 66; 774-0649 or bbbsf.com.
-- Winterfest Pancake Breakfast: 8-11 a.m. An all-American breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee tea and juice to benefit the Assistance League of Flagstaff and support its philanthropic programs. Activities will include: music, silent auction, and a raffle for donations from local businesses. Federated Church, 400 W. Aspen Ave.; $5 per person/ $20 per family.
-- Denim & Diamonds Gala: 6-10 p.m. The American Cancer Society's Denim and Diamonds Gala will have "A Night in Wonderland" feel this year and headline performance by Michael Grasso of Grasso Magic. Event includes silent auction followed by an elegant dinner. High Country Conference Center; $85 individual/$160 couple; 526-7346.
-- Flagstaff Ski Club Skier & Boarder Cross Event: Intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders compete at Arizona Snowbowl. Medals for first, second, third; participation ribbons for all competitors. Registration 8:30 a.m. Event 10 a.m. Arizona Snowbowl; $15 club members/ $20 non-members, plus half-price lift tickets for participants; 773-9707.
For a complete calendar of Winterfest events, visit flagstaffchamber.com.