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15,000 Expected for Olympic Anniversary Celebration at Stadium

15,000 Expected for Olympic Anniversary Celebration at Stadium

Posted - Feb. 6, 2003 at 2:12 p.m.



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Officials expect 15,000 people outside Rice-Eccles Stadium Saturday night to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Olympics.

Crews just put the finishing touches on the south side of the stadium. The cauldron is in place, ready to be re-lit Saturday night.

As the Olypmic signs went up today, there was internal talk of how to respond to Friday's heightened state of alert.

Officials have decided not to look through purses, backpacks or jackets -- patrons will be allowed to walk right up without being stopped and searched.

Officials say the reason for that, although the terrorist threat level is high, is that there is no specific threat to Utah.

"It's a generalized threat. It's prudent and reasonable to do this to raise this level and take different precautions, but not to change what we're doing with a lot of the special events or other things that we are doing," says public safety commissioner Verdi White.

The cones are up along 500 South. Police will close 500 South between 1300 East and Guardsman Way until noon Sunday.

People are allowed to start lining 500 South at about 5 p.m. Saturday. The event is not being held inside Rice-Eccles, so if you want to sit, plan on toting your own chair.

At 5:45 p.m. speeches and video clips from the Olympics kick off the event. Next, the cauldron lighting. At 7, a 22-minute fireworks show will finish off the celebration.

It's all free!

Police say although they don't plan to search through belongings for security measures, try to travel light and leave big purses and back packs at home.

And try to take TRAX. There's limited parking here and lots near the stadium are closed for the event.

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