Saturday, January 18, 2014

The chaos that is Sundance

Well. it's that time of year again.  Park City, a humble town of 8,000 residents suddenly becomes a town of 40,000.  Most of the additional humans are here to watch movies and see stars.  For those of us who live here, you either tend to embrace it with open arms or try and hide from it.  Julie and I change our plan from year to year.  No matter what you choose, Sundance will overrun the city for nine days, so you better get used to it.
The biggest challenge is the incredible number of additional cars.  I stopped by our City Park today to play with Jasper.  Even though there was not a single person in the park, every parking space was full.  Even things that weren't parking spaces were full.  Poor Jasper had to come home to play.  This is true everywhere in town.  The library, the ski resorts, residential streets, shopping centers, ...  No matter how hard they work to prevent it, the movie goers park absolutely everywhere.
And the event is so big that it takes over almost everything.  Our library has a large theater that becomes a Sundance venue.  This large tent is set up outside as a waiting area to get into the next movie.  The basketball court at the municipal rec center becomes a theater.  The high school auditorium, another venue. Several local hotels, venues.  The Jewish synagogue?  Yes, even it gets rented out as a venue.
Here's the view outside the UPS store where we get our mail.  Another tent taking up part of the parking lot.  At least in this case, the venue is an actual movie theater.
The most entertaining aspect of Sundance, at least outside the movies, is people watching.  We jokingly refer to the attendees as PIBs, for People In Black.  I'm not sure who set the rule that all theater goers must dress in black, but it seems to have stuck.  Black jackets, black pants, black shirts, and even black shoes are the norm.  Black is clearly the new black.  Throw in a mix of furry UGG boots and you're good to go.

So what's this year's plan, movie or hiding?  We've been hiding for the first day or two and tomorrow I step it up a notch by driving up to Yellowstone for a photography trip.  Hopefully, by the time I get home all the dust will have settled and the town will have settled back to something more normal.
 Maybe next year will be a movie year.

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