SALT LAKE CITY – An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people are expected to pour into downtown over the next three days to welcome 2016, and organizers of the Eve Winterfest celebration are working closely with police to make sure no one spoils the fun.
This year, revelers of all ages can enjoy music, cultural performances and games spread over several downtown locations, with the Salt Palace at the heart of it.
“Your all-access pass gets you into 10 different venues across the city: Clark Planetarium, Discovery, Gateway, the Leonardo,” says Nick Como, communications director for Downtown Alliance.
Returning for its second year is the 20-foot wide, 2,300-pound mirror ball.
“This year we're going to start at 90 and lower it to 30 feet as the clock strikes midnight,” Como said.
One new element at the festivities that people may not notice is tightened security.
“Safety is always our number one concern,” Como said.
Eve organizers aren’t counting on trouble, but they are taking proactive steps.
“Without getting into specific details for obvious reasons, we coordinate with SLC police, SLC fire, we have a professional hired security team, and they're in communication with those agencies,” Como said.
“We're always analyzing these things and adjusting accordingly,” said Detective Richard Chipping with the Salt Lake City Police Department.
In light of recent terror attacks in San Bernardino, California and Paris, France, Salt Lake City police are on alert. The concern is that terrorists could target public events.
The latest bulletin from the National Terrorism Advisory System states there’s no intelligence pointing to a potential terrorist attack in the U.S. The reality is terrorist-inspired individuals have conducted, or attempted to conduct, attacks in the United States this year.
“We always have extra officers assigned for these events as well as a large presence for DUI saturation,” Detective Chipping said.