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Hello 2017: I’ll meet you up North

It’s that time of year: time to celebrate the past year and welcome the incoming one. We may be biased, but we believe the best New Year’s celebrations are observed in the snowy North! From outdoor extravaganzas to intimate dinners, here are just a few ways to ring in 2017 if you find yourself in Alaska or the Yukon.

Celebrate at Town Square Park in downtown Anchorage at KTVA’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. Starting with dancing and music and ending with fireworks, this party begins at 5 p.m. and provides entertainment for all ages, including a children’s ice gallery, food vendors and 3-D light projections throughout the park.

Featuring live music from more than 10 bands, the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage hosts the Northern Lights New Year’s Festival beginning at 7 p.m. This is an all-ages event with a beer garden available for adults (cheers!).

Get up close and personal with fireworks at New Year’s Eve on the Roof Top, hosted by one of downtown Anchorage’s most popular breweries, 49th State Brewing Co. Say goodbye to 2016 with fire pits, heaters, blankets, s’mores and plenty of drinks to go around.

Spending the long weekend skiing? Stop in at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, about 40 minutes south of Anchorage, for a truly unique New Year’s celebration: the annual Torchlight Parade. Torches in hand, local snowboarders and skiers descend the mountain, creating a beautiful light display from top to bottom. The parade begins at 9 p.m. and fireworks close out the celebration at midnight.

If you’re traveling to Alaska’s Interior city of Fairbanks, you can watch the sky light up with the Sparktacular fireworks show launched from the University of Alaska Fairbanks at 8 p.m. This show kicks off not only the new year, but also UAF’s centennial celebration. Don’t miss hot chocolate and cookies at the museum on campus.

If you find yourself in Alaska’s capital city of Juneau, don’t forget your dancing shoes. Locals and visitors alike can meet at the Swing in the New Year celebration, enjoying the sounds of local bands Juneau Big Band and the Last Chance Jazz Band. This party includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight. Cheers!

Will you be celebrating across the border with our Canadian friends in Whitehorse, Yukon? The Canada 150 New Years Eve Countdown is the place to be. From 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., head to Shipyards Park for music from award-winning bands, food vendors and fireworks. All ages are welcome and a free shuttle service is available to and from the park.

There is no shortage of New Year’s Eve celebrations up North! So head outdoors or dance the night away. Cheers to you, 2017.

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