Ogden closes downtown street to truck in snow

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OGDEN -- It seems kind of backwards: Trucks were dumping snow onto Ogden's 25th Street instead of plowing it. However, it's all part of the preparation for Ogden's first Winterfest.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," says Kevin Ireland, Winterfest's coordinator. "We're going to have so many fun events. It's all free to the public."

The intersection of 25th Street and Grant Ave are now closed so all the snow can be brought in for some of the events -- which include human dogsled races, a toboggan parade and ski events.

Ogden's Winterfest is set to start this Friday, along with the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The festival will go through Saturday and is part of Ogden's goal to be known as the "Outdoor Adventure Capital."

"We had a great experience during the Olympics," says Mayor Matthew Godfrey. "We had a lot of people come out for some very cool events. Ogden's mantra is ‘we are the high adventure recreation capitol,' and so this fits in perfectly."

Ogden Winterfest
"Where Cold is Cool"

  • Feb. 12 & 13
  • Toboggan parades
  • Block parties
  • Snowmobile street drag racing
  • Fireworks
  • Concerts
  • Skijoring
  • Snow sculpturing
  • 5K race
  • Free
Ogden Winterfest

"I think it's going to be fun and something different. I think what they're doing is awesome. They've been trying to revitalize downtown, which everybody needs, and they're trying to make it fun to live in Ogden again," says Brett Hansen, who owns a Gandolfo's sandwich shop at the corner of 25th and Grant.

Winterfest will remind a lot of people of a similar event Ogden used to have in the 1980s. Back then, a small part of 25th Street was closed for downhill skiing.

"Actually, it's nice to see they're getting in back in Ogden again," says Ogden resident William Kuhanuck. "It's something that has been in our history a long time."

Mayor Godfrey agrees.

"We are bringing back something that was successful in the past that people remember, but in a much bigger way," Godfrey says.

More than 600 dump trucks full of snow are being used to create come of the courses. One problem has been the unusually warm temperatures for this time of year.

"The last few years, the snow has been in abundance," Godfrey says, "and we'll start making snow tomorrow."

"It is a little crazy," says Ireland. "When we first started talking about this, we wondered if we could pull it off, but as you can see, we're making it happen."

Ireland also says one of the best parts is that all the equipment and man hours were donated. Taxpayers won't have to pay for any of it.

"These are all donated trucks from local contractors throughout the country. It's been awesome," he says.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com


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