Thursday, July 31, 2014

Crowds to flock to Salt Lake City this weekend

By Keith McCord, Deseret News

Published: Fri, April 18 5:55 p.m. MDT

 People walk around downtown Salt Lake City on Friday, April 18, 2014. A variety of concerts, conventions, races, games and other events are attracting thousands of people to Salt Lake this weekend.

People walk around downtown Salt Lake City on Friday, April 18, 2014. A variety of concerts, conventions, races, games and other events are attracting thousands of people to Salt Lake this weekend.

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of people are expected to come to Salt Lake City to attend several events this weekend, and that means drivers should prepare for some temporary road closures and detours.

• The Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Xperience at the Salt Palace Convention Center is expected to draw more than 100,000 fans through Saturday. The second Comic Con doubled the amount of floor space compared to last year’s record-breaking Comic Con event, which drew between 70,000 and 80,000 attendees. For more information, visit www.saltlakecomiccon.com/.

• The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square is celebrating Easter weekend with “Messiah” concerts Friday and Saturday nights in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir, is conducting the event. Tickets for this highly anticipated concert were snapped up in just 7 ½ minutes.

• "The Biggest Loser," the TV show that helps contestants lose hundreds of pounds, is holding a casting call at the KSL building, 55 N. 300 West. At the open casting call, directors will be seeking families of four or more (18 and older), former athletes (high school, college or pro) and individuals who have at least 100 pounds to lose. The winner takes home $250,000. The casting call is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. More details can be found at www.thebiggestlosercasting.com/. Hundreds are expected to line up for this casting call.

• The American Atheists Convention is in town, with up to 700 expected to attend the annual meeting at the Hilton through Sunday.

• If football is more your thing, the University of Utah's 11th annual Red-White Spring Game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. Several events are scheduled before the game. TRAX and UTA will provide free transportation to the game on the same routes that service Rice-Eccles Stadium on regular-season game days.

• The Salt Lake City Marathon has a new course for the third straight year.

“We’re going into Federal Heights, Memory Grove, Eagle Monument, South Temple, downtown,” said the director of the marathon, Steve Bingham. “We’re downtown much more. We’re probably 80 percent downtown, where before we were 50-60 percent.”

The new course highlights the historic and iconic neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, and it will finish on Library Square. In addition to the races — the marathon, half marathon and 5K — the bike tour remains, along with a kids race.

The bike tour begins at 6 a.m. Saturday, while the marathon and half-marathon both begin at 7 a.m. The 5K will start at 7:10 a.m. The kids race will be at 10:45 a.m. Last year, 7,000 people participated in the marathon.

The Salt Lake City Police Department will have 208 officers assigned to 197 traffic posts for the safety of participants, spectators and residents. Officers will accommodate traffic when possible, but motorists and residents should expect delays as the race progresses throughout the morning.

Race officials say the best way to go around the course is by using all three freeways, or north of The Gateway if visiting downtown Salt Lake City.

They also say residents should avoid those roads experiencing the greatest amount of impact, including 11th Ave., 600 East, 4500 South, 3900 South, Liberty Park and Sugarhouse Park.

Due to the marathon, there will be detours to some Salt Lake City bus routes until approximately 8:30 a.m. Bus route Nos. 2, 3, 6, 21, 33, 39, 45, 200, 205, 209, 213, 220, 470 and 516 will be affected. For information on bus detours, contact UTA customer service at 801-Ride-UTA.

UTA is adding extra TRAX service to help people get downtown without worrying about parking.

The TRAX Blue Line will offer northbound service from Draper Town Center Station to Salt Lake Central Station every 10 minutes from 8:08 a.m. to 10:08 p.m. An additional train will depart Draper Town Center at 10:28 p.m. Earlier trains will run on a regular Saturday schedule, with service from Draper Town Center starting at 6:28 a.m.

The Blue Line will offer extra service southbound from Salt Lake Central, with additional trains running every five to 15 minutes from 9:11 a.m. to 10:56 p.m. Early Red Line service from Daybreak Parkway to Medical Center stations will begin at 4:09 a.m., with trains running every 20 minutes. Early Red Line service from Central Pointe to Daybreak Parkway will begin at 4:23 a.m., and service from Medical Center will begin at 5:17 a.m. For more information go www.rideuta.com.

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc

Email: kmccord@deseretnews.com

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1. AZKID
Mapleton, UT,
April 18, 2014

Yikes! Glad I'm staying in Utah county all day... I guess...

2. USAlover
Salt Lake City, UT,
April 18, 2014

This groups go perfectly together. I hope they enjoyed themselves..

3. U-tar
Woodland Hills, UT,
April 19, 2014

From the photo, the Marriott Hotel needs structural support.

4. I_Know_Utah
Mesquite, NV,
April 19, 2014

I'm Sorry, But I am an Atheist... And if anyone asked me to attend an Atheist convention I would look at them like the Idiot they think I am... If you are an Atheist, You are a non believer. Why would you have too meet with Other non believers to reinforce your NON belief???