Many resorts require those who carry the lights in torchlight parades to be mountain employees. But not at [R201R, Kirkwood Mountain Resort]. The Tahoe resort throws open their torchlight parade to anybody that is interested in participating in the event--one of many celebrations on New Year's Eve.

The resort's annual fireworks and torchlight parade begins at 6 p.m. Those attending to watch the lights snake down the hill gather in the Plaza for hot chocolate. The fireworks show follows the torchlight parade at 6:30 p.m.

Those aiming to be in the torchlight parade must buy tickets to participate. The parade is limited to 150 participants. "We expect tickets to sell out quickly," spokesperson Julie Koster told "Folks interested in participating should purchase a lift ticket early in the morning of the 31st." Participants, who must have advanced skiing or snowboarding ability, load up the Cornice Express at 5 p.m. to carry torches down Zachary.

The resort also offers a special evening snowcat tour New Year's Eve. The tour, which starts at 5 p.m., carts 12 riders to the top of Red Cliffs for viewing the torchlight parade and fireworks. The New Year's tour, which costs $100 per person, includes champagne and appetizers.

Two restaurants at Kirkwood are also hosting New Year's Eve events. The Off the Wall Bar and Grill is offering a dinner with a New Year's Eve menu. Special pricing for couples will also be available. Reservations are highly recommended for two seating times. Bubs is also hosting a New Year's party until 2 a.m. Drink and appetizer specials will run all night long, and live music is available with no cover charge.

More information. Or call 209-258-6000.