Entertainment, Fireworks on Tap for Winterfest Celebrations

Entertainment, Fireworks on Tap for Winterfest Celebrations

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News Specialist John Daley reportingAfter a bone-dry January, the blanket of freshly fallen snow here on the Wasatch Front comes just in time.

This week, Utah begins its first annual celebration of last year's Olympic Winter Games.

A year ago this community was getting ready to light the Olympic cauldron. Now, preparations are in the works to light it again, and to remember last year's two-and-a-half week Olympic adventure.

It was actually one year ago today that the Olympic torch finally made it to Utah. That started a full-on festive February, complete with a cauldron that featured a fire being lit within.

This weekend, as the centerpiece of a series of Winterfest events, that flame will be fired up again at the Olympic cauldron park built at the former Olympic stadium.

Today at the former Olympic countdown clock, Dave Winder, the governor's special assistant for post-Olympic projects, predicted the event will be memorable.

"There'll be some entertainment and then a 20 minute fireworks ceremony that we were told would be greater than Opening Ceremonies but lesser than Closing Ceremonies so it'll be a pretty neat fireworks display," Winder says.

Highlights of the Winterfest celebration include the dedication of the new Salt Lake City Library Saturday morning, the cauldron re-lighting Saturday evening and an Interfaith Musical Tribute at the LDS Church Tabernacle Sunday evening.

In the meantime, Salt Lake's role as an Olympic city was again center stage today as a delegation from the 2006 Olympic host, Torino, Italy, paid a visit at the invitation of Salt Lake County.

"Because we are the next city for the Olympic Games, we will learn from you," says Torino President Mercedes Bresso.

Salt Lake too hopes to keep learning about what it takes to host the world's premier festival of winter sport by keeping its venues in good shape and perhaps gunning for another Olympic Winter Games in a couple of decades.

"We're talking a generation from now. But why not let the next generation be the place to have it when it comes back to the United States?" Winder says.

Until then, there are plenty of Winterfest activities to keep the home fires burning.

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