No New Year’s Eve plan, no problem

Several events planned to ring in 2013

Those who don’t have a plan for New Year’s Eve shouldn’t have to worry too much as there are many events planned across Dakota County to ring in 2013.

Buck Hill under the fireworks lights on New Year's Eve. Photo from Buck Hill.
Buck Hill under the fireworks lights on New Year’s Eve. Photo from Buck Hill.

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One of the biggest events south of the river will be at Buck Hill Ski and Snowboard Area, which will have all of its runs open until midnight with a host of activities for young and old alike.

The night will include live music, fireworks and the opportunity to ski, snowboard or snowtube down the iconic Burnsville slope.

To highlight the night, when the Buck Hill Clock Tower strikes midnight, a fireworks display by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale will light up the hill.

Free activities will include:

• Kevin Hall’s magic show, as seen on “America’s Got Talent,”

• Live entertainment including magicians and jugglers,

• Tarot card readings and

• Glitter Glam Hair-Dos for youths.

All activities are free; however, holiday rates apply for lift tickets, ski and snowboard rentals. Lift tickets go on sale at 4 p.m.

Food and cocktails are available all over the hill, including a special dinner menu to be served in The Whittier Room overlooking Buck Hill. Reservations are suggested; call Diane at (952) 432-6566 x3 or email [email protected]

In addition to serving food and drinks all night, BuckStone Lodge will grooving with the tunes of the Rhythm Junkies with Dean Weisser & Leslee McKee.

Skiers and boarders are invited to join Gabe’s Ski Race or check out Buck Hill’s brand new “airbag,” for which there is a cost to use.

The airbag is available for a limited time at Buck Hill this season and is used as a safety cushion for skiers or snowboarders who launch themselves off a 15-foot high snow jump.

The 50-by-50 foot inflatable made by U.S. Airbag has adjustable vents to allow for varying softness.

The airbag absorbs the impact force of a skier or snowboarder, greatly reducing risk of injury.

Skiers and snowboarders must be 12 years or older to use the airbag.

The airbag will be offered at the hill on Dec. 31 until 11 p.m., and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 19-21 and Feb. 16-18.

Three jumps cost $10, 10 jumps $25, and 20 jumps $40.

For more information and to watch a video of people using the U.S. Airbag, visit

The Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn in Burnsville will provide a free shuttle to and from Buck Hill on New Year’s Eve for hotel guests who take advantage of the Buck Hill rate. Reservations are available by calling (952) 435-2100.

More information about the celebration at Buck Hill can be found at:

Buck Hill is located at 15400 Buck Hill Road in Burnsville, Minnesota. Call (952) 435-7174 or visit for more information.
More events

Dakota County Parks will offer the following New Year’s Eve activity (more at

• New Year’s Eve Party – The ball drops at 7:59 p.m. after an evening of winter festivities that starts at 5 p.m. and includes candle-lit ice skating, hiking and snowshoeing at Lebanon Hills Regional Park and inside at the Discovery Room of the Visitor Center. Slide on the lit sledding hill. Other activities include indoor storytelling, live animals, a magician and much more. Snowshoe rental available, bring your own sleds and ice skates. Hot concessions available for purchase. Fee: $8/person if pre-registered by Dec. 29; $10/person at the door. There is no cost for youths ages 5 to participate. Free onsite and offsite parking with free shuttle available. Guide dogs only. Waiver required.

Other events include:

• Hawaiian Kermit Apio, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at Laugh Lines Comedy at GrandStay Hotel, 7083 153rd St. W., Apple Valley. Tickets are $20 for the early show, $25 for the late show. Both feature laughs, food and drinks. Late show features free champagne toast at midnight, party favors, music and dancing. Tickets available at or by calling (651) 528-8454.

• Louie Anderson’s “Big Baby Boomer,” 7:30 and 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave. Tickets range from $29.95 to $101.95 for VIP tickets and a pre-show meet and greet. Purchase tickets at the box office or by phone at (952) 895-4680.

Tad Johnson can be reached at [email protected] or