The west side of downtown is going to get a little loud, a little crazy and a lot out of the norm for Utah this weekend as the Action Sports Tour brings its annual Salt Lake City stop for the Dew Tour Toyota Challenge.
Crews have been working around the clock the last few days and nights to turn EnergySolutions Arena and the parking lots surrounding the facility into a ear-splitting, adrenaline-pumping action-sports playground.
"I'm impressed already," BMX dirt star Luke Parslow said Monday after waking to a view of the venue he'll be turning back flips, double tailwhips and various other tricks. "I usually come in just in time to ride the track. But to see them working out there to put it all together, to see the little hips going in, it's pretty cool."
Parslow is in town a few days earlier than most of his fellow Dew Tour competitors and friends. He's making the rounds doing interviews and helping to promote what has become one of the biggest action sports events in the world.
On par with the X Games in many ways, the Dew Tour features many of the same athletes. Skateboarding stars Ryan Sheckler, Bob Burnquist, Shaun White and Pierre-Luc Gagnon hit most of the events as do freestyle motocross heroes Jeremy Stenberg, Mike Metzger and Nate Adams.
Parslow will be joined by the likes of three-time defending Dew Tour BMX Vert champ Jamie Bestwick and two-time defending BM Park champ Daniel Dhers.
"There's certain places you like to be and places you don't like to be," Parslow said. "Salt Lake is a favorite place to be because, the city and the town, you just love it here with the trails and the scenery. It's just a great place for us to come and do our thing."
With mountains of dirt and temporary stadiums popping up around EnergySolutions Arena, downtown Salt Lake City's west side will see four days of action.
Things get started Thursday with preliminary rounds. The action gets serious on Friday, though, as the lose attitude gives way to final round competitions in BM Vert and BMX Dirt.
Another unique twist to this year's Dew Tour is the presence of BMX Supercross. Perhaps the most 'mainstream' of the events, supercross was actually an Olympic race in China last month.
In fact, two of the medalists from that race in China will be in town. The U.S.'s Mike Day and Donny Robinson earned silver and bronze, respectively.
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