Park City arts fest: palette has police officers but not construction crews
Construction crews will not have a place on the Park City Kimball Arts Festival palette.
But police officers will.
City Hall departments are preparing for the annual festival this weekend. The Arts Festival remains one of the top weekends on Park City’s busy calendar of special events, drawing large crowds to Main Street from Friday until Sunday to peruse the artworks, listen to live music and dine on festival food.
The Park City Building Department and the Park City Police Department are expected to be busy. The Building Department oversees the temporary construction needed for the festival while the Police Department must handle the crowds.
The Building Department has ordered two major construction sites in the Main Street core not to conduct significant work over the weekend. Gabe Jaramillo, the community service inspector in the department, said the sites impacted are at 205 Main St. and at 820 Park Ave.
He said work at the sites must stop by Thursday evening. They can restart on Monday. Jaramillo said if the crews at the two sites are able to work inside and without causing a disturbance they will be allowed to do so.
"They can’t be noticed with noise or anything else," he said.
The shutdown also impacts smaller projects, such as house construction, close to Main Street. He said it would be difficult for a construction crew to receive deliveries in Old Town during the festival and parking for the crews would be challenging.
"If they’re building anywhere close to Arts Festival, there’s just too much traffic," he said.
The shutdown is similar to those instituted during special events in the past, including the Arts Festival and parts of the Sundance Film Festival in January. City Hall says construction along Main Street during larger events creates logistical issues and disturbs the crowds with noise and dust.
City Hall-hired crews improving the Main Street and Swede Alley streetscapes are included in the shutdown. Craig Sanchez, a City Hall staffer helping oversee the work, said sidewalk work on Main Street was halted Monday evening. The work is not scheduled to resume until Aug. 10, a period that covers the Tour of Utah bicycling race the weekend after the Arts Festival.
"We like to give them a two-week break . . . in their busy time in the summer," Sanchez said, referring to businesses along Main Street.
The Police Department, meanwhile, is also preparing for the Arts Festival. The event usually attracts some of the largest two-day crowds of the year, leading the Police Department to tap reinforcements.
Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said reinforcement officers will be used during the Arts Festival from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, the Police Department in Heber and the state Adult Probation & Parole agency. Kirk said there will be "substantially more" law enforcement officers on duty during the Arts Festival than there are during a typical weekend.
Kirk said police usually are kept busy with traffic, parking issues and problems caused by people drinking alcohol, such as disorderly conduct cases, intoxication and assaults. He said some officers will conduct traffic patrols while others will be walking Main Street as part of problem-solving teams. The Police Department and security officers hired by festival organizers will be on Main Street during the overnight hours to guard against thefts of artworks and monitor the street for other issues, Kirk said.
"We always plan for large crowds. We want to be prepared for the most challenging situations," Kirk said.
Two people indicated in interviews they are considering mounting campaigns for the Park City Council, a signal the City Hall election could attract an intriguing slate of candidates in a year when the majority of the five seats are on the ballot.