Avon council to discuss events plan for summer, consider variance request to allow 800 people in Nottingham Park

Town’s signature ’Salute to the USA’ event still possible for July 3

The Burnsville Band plays to a crowd of hundreds in Avon on June 24, 2020. The free show was the first outdoor concert to take place in Eagle County following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jake Wolf, Special to the Daily.

The Avon Town Council will discuss the summer event season on March 23, a discussion so eventful it could elicit a preparation discussion on March 9.

The council will have a chance to talk to Culture, Arts & Special Events Manager Danita Dempsey in a public meeting on Tuesday about her new report (published Friday) which provides an overview of the events scheduled for 2021, and the anticipated public health order restrictions related to outdoor events this summer.

The report also seeks to “prepare Council for a discussion at the March 23rd regularly scheduled Avon Town Council meeting regarding Event Milestone Dates and Budget,” Dempsey told council in the report.

Prospective events include: Town Clean Up (June 5); SunsetLIVE! (June 6); Vail Lacrosse Tournament (June 21-23); Possibilities in Avon: Weekly Art Expo (June 23); AvonLIVE! (June 23); Pop Up Music (June 26); Lakeside Cinema (July 9); XTERRA Mountain Championship (July 16-18); Avon Arts Celebration (July 23-25); Dancing in the Park (Aug. 5); Avon Festival of the Arts (Aug. 7-8); Circus Bella (August 9-16); Vail Valley Brew Fest (August 21); Avon Art Festival (Sept. 4-6); Vail Valley Soccer Tournament (Oct. 2-3); and Man of the Cliff (Oct. 9-10).

Dempsey said new thinking at the state level predicts the following timeline regarding event restrictions: 50% capacity in April; 60% in May; and 75%-80% from July onward.

Support Local Journalism

A 12-foot imitation surf board demonstrates how far groups should gather from each other during a concert in Avon on June 24, 2020.
John LaConte photo.

Town Manager Eric Heil said the town is anticipating that the town council and the Avon community will want the town to proceed with larger scale events this summer, if that’s allowed by Eagle County and the state.

“It may be possible to go to 80% capacity for outdoor venues by July,” Heil wrote in Dempsey’s report. “Right now, it is not clear how that translates or applies to Nottingham Park, and especially the Salute to the USA Event.”

Dempsey, in the report, said the town was successful in producing events last year, “and we are confident we can do this again within the current (public health order) restrictions should they remain the same,” she wrote.

Avon was the first town in Eagle County to host outdoor concerts in summer 2020, opening the Nottingham Park venue in June with four sections that allowed 175 people each, with 50 feet between each section.

“This new outlook and timeline are positive indicators that capacities will increase, and we can allow more than one group of 175 people,” Dempsey wrote in her report. “If the capacities do not increase, we intend to apply for a variance with Eagle County to allow up to 800 persons total on the main athletic field. Of course, we will remain flexible and continue to monitor progress of vaccinations, consumer confidence, (public health orders), etc.”

Heil, in the report, wrote that if and when an increase in crowd size is available, the town will propose increases to the special events budget to add events, “potentially Salute to the USA.”

Support Local Journalism