After a successful drive-in movie, Silverthorne brainstorms future First Friday events
SILVERTHORNE — Silverthorne Town Council on Wednesday, July 8, discussed the July First Friday drive-in movie, which sold out less than 24 hours after being announced.
Council members said they enjoyed the event and hope the town is able to host future drive-in movies to allow people to get together in a safe way during the pandemic.
“People were really social distancing,” council member Amy Manka said. “We were told to social distance on the way in. It was a really successful event in my family’s eyes and some other families I talked to.”
Silverthorne Arts and Culture Manager Sydney Schwab said the event was a good way to safely distance the community while still doing something fun together. Schwab said the ticket reservation system helped to manage the crowd because it limited who showed up to the event and kept the overall group size in check.
Schwab said people mostly stayed in the 150 cars that had reserved a spot and wore a mask if they left their car to use the restroom. She noted that the event didn’t host any food or drink sales.
“Overall, I think it was a great way to do an event in these times to keep people physically distanced and safe still but have a fun night out in Silverthorne,” Schwab said. “We got great feedback that it was a really fun night and (people) felt safe. I think the most feedback I’ve gotten is that they want us to do another one.”
Schwab said the town hopes to host another drive-in movie, though it likely will be on a Saturday night. Recreation & Culture Director Joanne Cook said the town rents the equipment used for the event from Breck Film Fest and Breckenridge Creative Arts, which helps the organizations recoup the cost of purchasing the equipment. Cook noted that the event is fairly staff intensive because quite a few sound technicians are needed in addition to some hard labor setting up.
“I’m excited to have more movies just for a community event and a reason for us to sort of get together because we haven’t been able to get together,” Mayor Ann-Marie Sandquist said.
Schwab said that moving forward, the goal for First Friday events is to engage locals and build a sense of community in a safe way. She said staff is working to come up with creative ways to bring locals together to participate in fun activities while maintaining distance.
“We’re really not trying to draw a huge crowd or be advertising it to any out-of-town residents or anything like that, so we’re really just trying to find a way to bring our locals together and have a fun and safe night,” Schwab said.
The working plan for the August First Friday is to have a strolling event concept along the Blue River Trail that would span about a mile to allow for physical distancing. Schwab said there would be stations along the recpath where musicians and artists could perform for spectators. Musicians would be single performers or small groups, such as a quartet, and artists could perform live artwork. She noted that there also could be a kid’s station for an activity like chalk art.
“If we were able to do this, we would obviously be watching state and county regulations very closely, make sure we’re following all the regulations there,” Schwab said. “Basically, for people to experience this strolling event, they would have to keep walking along the bike path and keep moving, and we would make sure people are safely distanced apart, wearing their masks and moving through.”
Another event concept that could potentially happen in September, pending outdoor group size regulations, is a smaller concert in the park where people would reserve tickets ahead of time, Schwab said. She said it could be an alternative to the larger concert the town typically puts on in September.
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