From the time I moved to Park City in 1996 it was known that Salt Lake City and Park City would be hosting the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Plans to make Park City's Historic Main Street a venue for the games were in motion, and the coordination of musicians, television crews, corporate venues and infrastructure to host thousands and thousands of people was taking place.
From the Opening Ceremonies to the close of the event Historic Main Street was packed. Pin trading took place in Miners Park, and across the street there was a constant line of people waiting to purchase the USA beret worn by the athletes at the Roots store. Each day, the Budweiser Clydesdales paraded down Main Street closely followed by Greg Schirf, with his three dogs and toboggan, promoting the local brews of Wasatch Beers. Fire pits, hosted by local Park City citizens, were lined up and down the street and were a perfect stop for people to warm up and find out more about town. Live television broadcasts drew crowds alongside of street performers and DJs. To end each evening fireworks were shot over Main Street to the enjoyment of all.
While all these amazing events and activities were taking place, I had other responsibilities. I was part of a group, made of volunteers and city staff assigned to the back of house operations. We directed traffic, loaded people on and off of buses, and patrolled the street late at night after all the activities had died down.
We relived the excitement of bus passengers as they arrived from Park City Mountain Resort after the USA won gold, silver and bronze in the men's halfpipe and received play by play from those who witnessed Jimmy Shay win the gold medal in skeleton. We stood side by side with Border Patrol Agents from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, a few of whom had never seen snow and listened as they convinced each other that placing cayenne pepper in their socks would keep their feet warmer. We walked Main Street after all the activities died down and the bars closed chatting with people who still had joy and excitement from the day they wished to share.
Whatever the experience that people had during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Park City's Main Street continues to be front and center in their memories.