By Sarah Pridgeon
With the Sundance Winter Festival coming up this weekend, organizer Steve Lenz approached the council on Tuesday to ask for its support on street closures. Things have changed slightly, he said, so the closures may differ from years past.
“This looks to be again one of the biggest events of the year for Sundance,” he said.
Lenz stated that he has asked for permission from Police Chief Marty Noonan, to whom the city has given the responsibility for road closures, to shut down Main Street and close access from 2nd, 3rd and 4th Streets, keeping the alleys open for emergency vehicles. Organizers have historically kept half a lane open to the post office, but as the event grows in size, the possibility of an accident also increases, Lenz said, so this is probably the year to stop doing that.
Main Street will be accessible for most of the day on Thursday, Lenz said, but will become less usable as the final loads of snow arrive. It will definitely be closed on Friday to build the course, Saturday for the event itself and Sunday morning for clean-up.
Set-up and clean-up this year are expected to take less time than in years past, Lenz continued, as the ski joring course will be half as deep as usual. In the past, 300 dump trucks full of snow have been needed to build the course, which means 300 dump trucks to haul it away again, but the team has ascertained it does not need to be that deep, which Lenz expects will dispel some of the associated costs.
Organizers have also cut down on some of the extra snow areas, Lenz said. The bar stool races will now take place on the old North Pole Meat Locker site and kids will be permitted to play on that course, which will make it “less frenetic” on Sunday to clear all the snow from the streets.
WYDOT is loaning cones, candles and barrels to the event to help mark out the street closures, he continued. Lenz was also given confirmation from the council that, as the event will take place in the downtown area, it qualifies again for the portapotty cost-share program.
By Sarah Pridgeon