Team USA wants to throw gold-medal Olympic party in Park City
November 9, 2017
Park City could throw a gold-medal party as the Winter Olympics open a half a world away in February.
The United States Olympic Committee wants to stage the Team USA Winterfest on lower Main Street on Feb. 10, the first full day of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
It would celebrate an American contingent of athletes that is expected to include numerous competitors with ties to Park City, some likely bred in the city. The community has for two decades been one of the nation's top training grounds for winter athletes. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is based in Park City, making the community critical to the U.S. Ski Team, and the city offers one of only two bobsled tracks in the nation as well as World Cup-level ski jumps.
The Park City Council on Thursday is scheduled to consider a permit for the Team USA Winterfest. The application is not controversial and is expected to win an approval. The event would feature Olympic-themed activities like pin trading, an opportunity to try the Winter Olympic sport of curling and interactive offerings. Unnamed former Olympic athletes are also expected to attend for an autograph session. A concert with Good Charlotte and Sleeping with Sirens is also planed as a highlight.
The organizers filed paperwork at the Marsac Building indicating between 3,000 and 5,000 people could attend. The event would run from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. City Hall said the setup would require lower Main Street be closed starting on Feb. 9 with a reopening expected by noon on Feb. 11.
"The Team USA Winterfest event is a onetime opportunity that will allow continued celebration of Utah and Park City's Olympic legacy on a local, national and international stage," a City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the City Council meeting says.
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The Park City area hosted upward of half of the events during the Winter Olympics in 2002. Main Street in 2002 was one of the Olympic region's top celebration destinations.
The Team USA Winterfest would be scheduled as an exploratory committee in the state considers whether Salt Lake City should seek another Winter Games as soon as the 2026 edition. A decision by the committee is expected by Feb. 1, potentially providing a bit of additional drama to an event in Park City nine days later.