Kaitlyn Farrington’s gold-medal party and the arrival of an estimated 500 Special Olympians at Sun Valley Resort will make it a special weekend in the Wood River Valley.
Newly-crowned Olympic snowboard gold medalist Farrington of Bellevue will be saluted Saturday, March 1, at the bottom of Warm Springs ski run on Bald Mountain before she leaves the valley Sunday for the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships March 3-8 in Vail, Colo.
The celebration on Saturday will start at 2:30 p.m., with music, food and beverages at Warm Springs Lodge. An official ceremony honoring the 24-year-old Farrington is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Saturday after she rides down Lower Warm Springs accompanied by fellow snowboard competitor Maddy Schaffrick of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and other prominent skiers/riders.
The stage will be set up on Warm Springs Lodge’s plaza.
Guest speakers include Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas, Bellevue Mayor Chris Koch, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Executive Director Rob Clayton, SVSEF snowboard coach Andy Gilbert, Sun Valley Co. General Manager Tim Silva, and Idaho state Sen. Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum), who will read a proclamation in Kaitlyn’s honor.
The official re-naming of a Sun Valley ski or snowboard run in Farrington’s honor is expected to be announced as part of the celebration.
From 4:45-7 p.m., a street party will be held on Picabo Street between Jane Lane and Lloyd Court. It will feature live music by Old Death Whisper. Food and drink specials will be available at Apple’s Bar & Grill in Warm Springs.
Special Olympians are here
Farrington has been invited to speak during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 State Winter Games presented by Special Olympics Idaho. That ceremony is scheduled for 7-8 p.m. Friday at the Wood River High School gym in Hailey.
Special Olympics weekend events will occur all day Saturday on Dollar Mountain (alpine/snowboard), at Sun Valley Nordic Center (Nordic skiing/snowshoe) and at the Hailey high school gym and Community Campus gym (floor hockey).
The Special Olympics/Lions Club International “Opening Eyes/Healthy Hearing” program will be run all day in the Community Campus, led by volunteer vision professionals.
Closing ceremonies for the State Winter Games are set for Saturday from 7-7:30 p.m. back at the Hailey high school gym, followed by a victory dance.