Winter Fest back on Main Street
Volunteers aim to bring event back to downtown area
December 15, 2022
The Sundance Winter Festival will be coming back to Main Street after all – a change of plans that prompted a positive reaction from the city council last week.
“I can’t tell you how happy that would make me,” commented Mayor Paul Brooks on hearing the news from Tony Barton, who is volunteering as organizer through the Sundance Chamber of Commerce. The rest of the council was equally vocal in support.
The council heard during November’s meeting that it would not be possible for the popular festival to take place downtown. The only way to keep it going, said Jamie Jessen of the chamber at the time, was to move it to the fairgrounds because the organization taking charge of the ski joring felt there were “too many variables” to locate it on Main Street.
Barton, however, said that Winterfest will be taking place on Presidents’ Day weekend and, because he strongly believes it needs to be located on Main Street, the plans have changed.
Because the chamber does not want to risk another last-minute cancellation caused by a lack of snow, Barton said that the fairgrounds have still been reserved as a standby option. That way, if the skies fail to cooperate this season, there can still be a version of Winterfest for visitors to enjoy.
Barton visited with the council to make enquiries about the finer details of the event, such as street closures. He asked if it would be possible to close Main Street on the Thursday through Saturday to build the course.
“Sometimes Wednesday is needed too, in years past, to get the snow in there,” remarked Public Works Director Mac Erickson, noting that, in actual fact, “It usually closes itself.”
Neither Erickson nor Sheriff Jeff Hodge had issue with the closure request. The council also agreed to continue honoring its agreement to fund portapotties, and said city hall can, as usual, be used as a location for administrative parts of the event.
Regarding the snow needed to build the ski joring course, which has proven elusive over the last couple of years, Erickson confirmed that the public works department is already saving snow as it is removed from the city streets.