Celebrity-powered march planned in Park City the day after inauguration
Chelsea Handler will lead procession down Main Street during busy weekend
January 6, 2017
A celebrity-powered march is planned in Park City during the opening weekend of the Sundance Film Festival, an event meant to promote human rights and social justice but one that will almost certainly have heavy political undertones as it is scheduled the day after Donald Trump is inaugurated.
The event is set for Saturday, Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. It is billed as the "Women's March on Main" and will occur alongside a similar march in Washington, D.C. The march is not affiliated with Sundance.
City Hall received an application for the march in December. Park City staffers have not yet issued a permit. Jason Glidden, the Park City economic development program manager and one of the staffers involved in reviewing the application, said the march organizers want to start at the top of Main Street and descend the street. He said an ending location has not been finalized.
The organizers want to hold the march during what is typically a jammed opening weekend of the festival. Crowds are usually the largest during the first weekend of Sundance and traffic is oftentimes terrible. But there is also normally a large celebrity presence during the opening weekend and the media focuses on the Friday-to-Sunday stretch of Sundance.
Glidden said City Hall staffers will consider impacts on traffic and parking as they process the application. Glidden said he anticipates a permit will be issued by late next week.
"Obviously, safety is our biggest concern. We want to make sure all the participants are safe," he said.
A release announcing the march indicates Chelsea Handler, a comedian, will lead the event in Park City. In a prepared statement, Handler said the film festival has "always been a platform for change."
"If there's anything I learned in the last year, it's that we need to be louder and stronger than ever about what we believe in, so I joined some incredible women from around the country to bring our voices together in the streets of Park City," she also said in the statement.
The film festival has long been a hotbed of left-leaning causes, and there have been numerous marches or rallies over the years. Opponents of the war in Iraq, Occupy Wall Street and animal-rights groups have been among those that have held events in Park City during Sundance.
It was not clear by late in the week whether there will be organized demonstrations in Park City on the day of the inauguration itself.
The Summit County Democratic Party expects it will be involved. Glenn Wright, the chairman of the local party, said Summit County Democrats will "participate in some way." He said the executive committee of the county party will discuss the event during a meeting on Monday.
"I expect the people who will participate will be expressing their differences with the incoming presidential administration," he said, predicting a peaceful demonstration on Jan. 21.
Nearly 900 people by midmorning Friday indicated they planned to attend, according to the march's Facebook page, named "Women's March on Main – Park City, UT."