by D.J. DeJong
Mail Staff Writer
Apart from heavy traffic in and around Buena Vista before and after the Seven Peaks music festival, Buena Vista and Chaffee County law enforcement officials reported a smooth weekend.
Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said things went pretty well during the course of the weekend, and only four on-site arrests were made for misdemeanor infractions.
Spezze said apart from those incidents, law enforcement had no issues during the concert.
The only problem, Spezze said, was volume, as it took time to get everybody into the venue, and traffic was heavy coming into Buena Vista on Friday.
Spezze said the crowd at the concert was very respectful of law enforcement, and overall everything put in place worked, including communications, which had been an early concern for the sheriff’s office.
Buena Vista Police Chief Jimmy Tidwell said the department had everyone out patrolling during the weekend.
Tidwell said since he started working in Buena Vista in 1986, he had never seen so many cars in town.
“There were a lot more people than last year,” he said.
The biggest problem for law enforcement and locals was traffic in and out of town and the concert venue.
While the event organizers created dedicated routes to the concert site, Tidwell said there were people who tried to take the shortest route, and that became a huge problem.
Some streets, like Crossman Avenue, were barricaded in an attempt to funnel concertgoers in the right direction.
Tidwell said Buena Vista police made a few concert-related arrests in town over the weekend, mostly for driving under the influence and fighting.
Monday morning saw heavy traffic out of Buena Vista, especially where motorists on U.S. 24 and U.S. 285 went through Johnson Village headed to the Front Range.
Tidwell said some locals had trouble getting through the area due to the stream of traffic.
Colorado State Patrol troopers directed traffic in Johnson Village as concertgoers left the area.