The party is on at Winter Park this ski season as the town celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Grand Winter Sports Carnival. The event started in 1911 when locals came up with something fun to get them through the dead of winter and help spark tourism in their mountain town nestled high in the Colorado Rockies.

This season's event includes dog sledding, skiing and ski jumping, ice sculpting, snowshoeing, parades, ski joring, and fireworks. The Carnival runs from December 30 through February 11 in Winter Park and the surrounding towns of Fraser, Grand Lake, Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling. 

Winter Park Resort is also celebrating its 72nd season with some improvements—including the new Sorensen Trail Bypass which makes it easier for beginners to get to the base area. The Lodge at Sunspot has had some eco-friendly updates and will celebrate its 25th year in 2012.

New features were added to the terrain parks as well—including the Superpipe "Dig-In" at the Rail Yard Terrain Park.

"Guests will be impacted by an earlier opening day, conditions permitting, which are important for the Christmas holiday skiers and riders," Winter Park Resort Communications Manager Mistalynn Lee said. "It also will save a large amount of resources due to the decrease in water and energy required for manmade snow. It's a true win-win."

Winter Park is scheduled to open for the season on November 16.

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