Spike 150 - 39

Actors perform during the Spike 150 presentation on Friday, May 10, 2019, at the Golden Spike National Historical Park in Promontory Summit. Spike 150 was held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

PROMONTORY SUMMIT — COVID-19 concerns have led officials to cancel this year’s May 10 annual commemoration of the joining of the transcontinental railroad.

The cancellation conforms with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the state and Bear River health departments to limit large gatherings.

Slowing the spread of the coronavirus also fits the mission of the Golden Spike National Historical Park to provide a safe environment for visitors, said the park’s incoming superintendent, Brandon Flint, in a press release.

The park visitor center and bookstore remain closed.

The annual celebration highlights the May 10, 1869, completion of the transcontinental railroad by the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads.

Although the May 10 celebration will not take place, people can find commemorative videos, stories and photos on the park website and Facebook page, the release said.

The Golden Spike Association, an organization of history and train buffs, said not everything related to the anniversary event has been called off.

“The 151st anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s completion will still come to pass and deserves to be honored,” co-chairs Norm and Willie Nelson said in a press release.

They said the association still is producing the traditional anniversary commemorative playbill loved by park visitors and collectors.

The playbills will be available in the visitor center this summer, they said.

The National Park Service said it will notify the public when Golden Spike Park resumes full operations and will provide updates on the website and Facebook page.

The park’s outdoor spaces remain accessible to the public. During the pandemic, entrance fees are being waived.

Visitors may still explore the Historic Last Spike Site, Big Fill Hiking and Trail East Auto Tour, the park said.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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