JBER, AK - It’s the shortest day of the year and for many, the beginning of Christmas vacation, and if you needed yet another reason to celebrate – the season grand opening of Hillberg Ski Area.

Hillberg was alive with the sound of roaring F-22’s, those sleigh bells jingling, and ring ting tingling, and of course a pretty good rumor about a very important guest. Santa!

Winterfest is a mega-celebration for soldiers and families that includes free skiing, crafting, ice fishing, dog sled riding, and about anything else you could imagine. This annual event marks the opening of the ski season on base, and brighter days to come.

Skiing is just one of the many recreational activities offered on base. Glenn says providing this kind of fun right in active duty service members backyards, is a small way to thank them for their service.

Hillberg will be open most days through this holiday break, then will return to normal hours Thursday through Sunday.