- Feld Entertainment
Monster Energy Supercross
Let's face it: We miss sports. As professional and collegiate sports faced schedule disruptions throughout the spring, we've lost that buzz of excitement that comes from watching high-level competition. And while many organizations still wrestle with the logistics of resuming competition in our current circumstances, at least one organization will be bringing live competition back to Rice-Eccles Stadium this week—even if it's without a live audience.
On May 31, the Monster Energy Supercross Championship returns to action, with motorcycle racing that will be broadcast on NBC networks. According to Dave Prater, Senior Director of Operation for Two-Wheels at Feld Entertainment, the organization has instituted rigorous safety guidelines for participating competitors, crew members and staff, even as they face the challenging economics of holding events without spectators. "It's been refreshing how the sports industry as a whole, not just the mostorsports industry, have come together," Prater says. "We have multiple contacts across multiple leagues and stadiums, and we've all been sharing ideas as far as our prevention plans and mitigation plans, in addition to what it's going to be like without fans and how can we best portray that energy when you play inside an empty stadium."
Prater acknowledged that it will also be a unique experience for the competitors, who—despite being in noisy vehicles—are going to be dealing with the unique dynamic of empty venues. "Motorcycles obviously are loud, but our fans can get louder," he says. "It's going to be interesting to see what kind of energy they feed off of. We've never done it before; it's uncharted territory." (Scott Renshaw)
- Melissa Helquist
Community Writing Center Virtual Workshops
It became something of a jokey cliché during the coronavirus stay-at-home era that folks were going to have time to create all kinds of great art, using historical examples like Shakespeare and King Lear as—depending on your point of view—either evidence of the possibility, or way too high a bar. And while plenty of folks were simply doing everything they could not to go stir-crazy during this time, it's possible that adding the pressure of writing the Great American Novel to surviving a massive public health emergency was just a little bit daunting for most folks.
That doesn't mean, however, that you can't take this opportunity either to scratch that itch at writing that you've had for a while, or work at improving the skills you've already begun nurturing. The Community Writing Center—a resource of Salt Lake Community College—is continuing its mission of supporting writers of all ability levels by moving its popular seminars and lessons to a virtual model to accommodate the time of social distancing.
And it doesn't matter what kind of writing you're interested, because there's likely to be something for you. Learn the fundamentals of launching a fiction project with the two-part Getting Started With Creative Writing (June 2 & June 9). Would-be screenwriters can learn the basics of the form from screenwriter Tami Anderson (June 13 & June 20). Or you can explore the issues that matter to you via Flash Fiction: Writing for Change (July 7). Classes are free, though registration is required. Visit slcc.edu/cwc for more options and information. (SR)
- Courtesy Photo
South Jordan Virtual Summerfest / Beer, Blues & Brats Benefit
Though the warm and sunny weather tells us that summer is just around the corner, it's definitely harder to get in the spirit of the season this year. So many of the events that Utahns typically enjoy as the gateway to summer—including cultural festivals like Living Traditions, farmer's markets and a wide range of street fairs—have been forced to cancel as a result of the pandemic. For plenty of organizations, the challenge has been coming up with safe, virtual variations on the events that people love and look forward to.
South Jordan City has moved its annual Summerfest online the week of June 1-6 with a wide range of events for all ages. Enjoy a historical quest through South Jordan using a GooseChase app, sign up to participate in the chalk art competition, or participate in a virtual 5K along the Jordan River Trail. There's even a parade, with the twist that the floats stay in one place so cars can drive by safely and enjoy them. Visit sjc.utah.gov/sojo-summerfest/ for more events and details.
If you'd like your virtual summer event to support a worthy cause, check out Crossroads Urban Center's 10th annual Beer, Blues & Brats Benefit. The originally-scheduled April live event moves online May 30, inviting folks to bring their own favorite food and beverage to appreciate performances by JT Draper and Jehiah Bray, along with locally-sourced silent auction items and optional games. Virtual tickets are $5, available through Givesmart.com (https://e.givesmart.com/events/hlL/), to help provide food and clothing to the many individuals and families facing financial hardship at this time. (SR)
- Courtesy Photo
City Library Summer Super Challenge
Every summer, library systems around the country launch summer reading programs, with a focus largely on encouraging school-age kids to keep their noses in some books while the school year is on hiatus. A time of social distancing has certainly had its impact on community spaces like public libraries—most locations still remain closed to walk-in patrons—but that doesn't mean libraries can't continue the work of offering incentives for reading, even through this unusual summer.
The Salt Lake City Library system launches its "Imagine Your Story" Super Summer Challenge on June 1, with patrons able to sign up at slcpl.org/supersummer. Four different levels—Babies & Toddlers, Kids, Teens and Adults—offer activities that you can complete at home, plus tracking your reading throughout the summer via Beanstack. Completion prizes are available for various levels—including free books or bookstore gift certificates—plus a grand-prize sweepstakes at the end of the summer, all of which will be distributed when libraries re-open. You can even get a 20% discount on FanX Salt Lake tickets just for signing up.
While devoted readers have missed libraries a lot over the past two-and-a-half months, they're still a vital part of the community. Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County Library locations recently began appointment-only curbside service for distributing books that patrons place on hold electronically, and hope to re-open branches to walk-in service later this summer. However you've been spending your quarantine time, keep your reading rolling through the summer by signing up and supporting library services. (SR)