The Spike 150 event, held on May 10th in Promontory, Utah drew tens of thousands of visitors and was by all accounts a huge success. Our Director of Events, Patrick Burns was involved for the planning and execution of the massive undertaking and OTW provided billboard barricades and custom signs that helped set the stage for the celebration.
The event took place at the Golden Spike National Historical Park and most of what was needed to accommodate all the cars and crowds had to be brought in. Stages and sound systems were erected, big banners and directional signs created an atmosphere and lines of portable restrooms and chairs were set up to accommodate all the visitors. Open grass areas on the perimeter were also available for people who brought chairs and blankets to the event.
There were performances, speeches and a ceremony to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad 150 years earlier. Giant screens broadcast what was happening on stage so more people could get a decent view. The keynote speech by Pullitzer Prize Winner and historian Jon Meacham, was quite inspiring. He reminded attendees of all the obstacles that were overcome to complete the railroad and unite the nation, in a time when war, racism, and sexism weighed heavily on the American consciousness.
The event was meant to celebrate not only the golden spike that connected the two railroads but the cooperation and forward thinking that the transcontinental railroad symbolized. The event planners brought this spirit to the forefront with a beautiful, well-executed ceremony that united all the guests in a unique experience.
Over a hundred plastic crowd barricades and signs were set up along the route to the parking lots, within the lots themselves, along the path from the lots to the event and within the event around all the reserved seating blocks. They certainly helped create more organization for an event that had to be built from the ground up for a huge crowd.
Barricade signs in the parking lots designated which areas required credentials, which areas were for overnight parking and which areas were for day-use only. Within the event there were signs around the food trucks, the beer garden, and showcasing all the different sponsors of the event.
Instead of taping paper signs to seats, a grid was created by using the two different points of connection on the barricades and custom signs designated which areas were reserved for which groups – for example families of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association and the National Railway Historical Society. The layout resembled box seating and made it easy for the credentialed guests to find their seats.
The Spike 150 event was truly an exemplary effort and a great experience for the organizers and the guests. It was the fruit of many different groups and many hours of preparation coming together right on time. We’re happy to have played our part on the planning and logistics side and look forward to another great Summer of events this year!
Top Photo: Ian Matteson
Photos in Body: Gideon Kai