KEY POINTS

  • Authorities shut down a "protest" party attended by thousands in Utah on Halloween
  • The official event had been canceled but the party was reportedly put on by volunteers
  • Authorities urge people to follow health guidelines as COVID-19 cases in Utah continue to increase

Thousands of people reportedly attended a Halloween party in Utah that had been promoted as a "protest." 

Authorities shut down a party in a place called "The Knolls" on the western side of Utah Lake on Halloween night. As NBC affiliate KSL reported, Utah County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that "2,000 to 10,000 people" attended the event.

Drone footage of the event shared on Twitter shows the venue packed with goers, many of whom reportedly did not wear mask and practice social distancing.

Authorities found out about the "unauthorized mass gathering" when one of the attendees needed medical assistance after being knocked unconscious while crowd surfing, NBC News reported.

The said party called "The Protest on Halloween" was advertised for weeks as "Utah's Largest Party of 2020," with the promotions stating that, "Gatherings are essential for public health."

However, organizer Utah Tonight announced the cancellation of the event just days before Halloween, citing certain "entities" putting the blame regarding the spread of the coronavirus on members of the population from 18 to 25 years old.

"We find it both disheartening and concerning that some within our society have allowed fear to supplant basic rights of assembly, giving individuals within the media and some public servants the ability to control what we consider to be 'a pursuit of happiness,'" Utah Tonight posted on Instagram. "If the guidelines provided are truly meant to protect so our world can move on, then we must allow people and organizations the opportunity to create plans, organize and gather together."

Despite the announced cancellation, however, the party evidently pushed through on Halloween night. 

Both Tribe Utah and Utah Tonight have deleted the posts of the party in their Instagram stories, The Washington Post reported. Further, Utah Tonight reportedly stated that the actual event had been canceled and that Saturday's event was put on by volunteers who advertised via social media.

In a statement, the Utah County Health Department commented on the event, saying that the actions of the organizers of the event as well as the attendees were "dangerous to themselves, our communities, our healthcare system and our efforts to combat COVID-19."

"They claim to want to get life 'back to normal.' Their actions and the actions they are encouraging will cause a further increase in COVID-19 cases and push the time 'back to normal' that much further away," the Utah County Health Department said in the statement, where it also thanked the other members of the community for cooperating with the health guidelines.

"We are grateful for the vast majority of our citizens who are striving to protect themselves and their fellow citizens by adhering to the health guidance," the agency added.

Coronavirus cases have recently been increasing in Utah. As of Nov. 3, the state of Utah has reported 119,375 total COVID-19 cases and 620 COVID-19 deaths, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Of the state's counties, Salt Lake County has the most number of cases at 51,124, followed by Utah County with 31,095.

Rave Pictured: Representative image of people at a party. Photo: Pixabay