John LaConte
jlaconte@vaildaily.com

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February 20, 2014
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Police: No WonderGrass problems expected

AVON ­— When the WinterWonderGrass music festival hits town this weekend, police presence will be like Goldilocks’ porridge — just right.

That’s the expectation from councilman Jake Wolf and Avon Police Chief Bob Ticer, who worked together with festival promoters and town staff to hash out a plan that’s not too hot or cold, as far as the heat is concerned.

Crowds attracted to the last major music festival in that venue, Snowball, also attracted a need for a stronger police presence, resulting in multiple arrests and leaving a foul taste in the mouths of many involved with and exposed to the festival. This time around a more mature crowd is expected, based on the audience at festivals similar to WinterWonderGrass.

“It’s not going to be an oppressive looking police force, it’s going to be just like a Telluride Bluegrass Festival where you don’t really see many police officers in the venue unless they’re needed there,” Wolf said.

ASK A COP

Ticer said officers from the Avon Police Department will be there to assist in multiple ways, not just with the security and crowd control issues that would be typical for an event this size.

“They’re a great source of public information, too,” he said. “We want them to be out and about, so if people have any questions about anything they can turn to a police officer and get an answer pretty easily.”

On the Avon Police Department’s radar screen is the fact that WinterWonderGrass, in addition to being a music festival, is also a celebration of craft beer in Colorado. Paramount among all planning a guest does for the festival should be transportation home, Ticer said.

“Some of those crafts are pretty potent, you have to be thinking two or three times as potent for some of those beers in comparison to a regular beer, so the best option is to just figure out a different alternative for driving if you’re planning on trying the different beers that will be there,” Ticer said.

NO PROBLEMS EXPECTED

With the festival ending at 10 p.m., the ECO bus will still be in service for the evening, offering transportation in both directions from the venue for $4. The Turtle Bus will also be providing low-fare transportation.

“They’ll be plenty of options out there, so there’s no reason anyone should have to get behind the wheel and drive,” Ticer said.

Ticer also wanted to remind festival goers that marijuana is still illegal in public.

“We want to make sure everyone keeps that in mind,” he said.

Overall, though, Ticer says he’s not anticipating any problems.

“I think it’s going to be a crowd that’s just going to come out there and enjoy their time,” he said. “We’re not expecting any kind of disruptions.”

WinterWonderGrass takes place at Avon’s Nottingham Park open-air venue beginning Friday and runs through Sunday.


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The VailDaily Updated Feb 20, 2014 08:39PM Published Feb 21, 2014 04:25PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.