Silly Fest will wrap up Sunday Market’s 2015 summer season
September 18, 2015
One Sunday remains for people to get silly this summer.
The Park Silly Sunday Market will wrap this season’s weekly open-air street market with Silly Fest on Sept. 20.
Unlike past Silly Fests, which have run until 8 p.m., this year’s shindig will end at 6 p.m., according to Michelle McDonald, the Silly Market’s director of operations and vendor logistics.
"We actually scaled Silly Fest back last year, but no one noticed because it rained and everything was soaking wet," McDonald said. "We also ended up canceling the band, the Changing Lanes Experience."
Bad weather is the main reason the Silly Fest is closing early, said Executive Director Kate Boyd.
"For the past three years it’s been bitterly cold, so, this year we decided to stop earlier," she said. "That will help us have the most beautiful weather because we aren’t going until 8 p.m., right?"
If the weather cooperates, the Changing Lanes Experience will return to take care of some unfinished business, Boyd said.
"They pull in a nice crowd and they are so much fun," she said. "They were just on ‘American Idol’ a few years ago."
The performance will be on the Main Stage at the bottom of Main Street. The bar will remain open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
"We’ll also have the aerialists on the People’s Bridge and some buskers up and down Main Street," Boyd said. "A lot of our vendors will be able to close down at 5 p.m. and come join us for the concert. It’s like the big and final hurrah. I think it’s will be fun for them to at least experience the last hour of the market."
"They can come down, celebrate a successful summer and have a beer," McDonald added.
Each year, the number of Park Silly Sunday Market visitors grow, as does the number of vendors, according to Boyd and McDonald.
"Attendance is up the typical 10 percent from last year," Boyd said. "We logged more than 100,000 three weeks ago. Over Labor Day weekend alone, we had more than 16,000 people."
Still, that wasn’t the biggest day for the Silly Market this summer, McDonald said.
"We pushed upwards of 18,000 people every Sunday in July," she said.
"We’re so fortunate to grow each year, even though at times it feels like we’re bursting at the seams," Boyd said. "People still find places to park."
This summer, the Silly Market booked more than 575 different vendors, and last week, the season’s second-to-last Market, there were more than 20 vendors who set up for the first time, according to McDonald.
"We’re still getting new, different and unique stuff on a Sunday this late in the schedule," she said. "Next week, we will have a bunch of new vendors as well. The interesting thing about them is that most of their items are more appropriate for the fall instead of early and late summer. So, someone who attends the market religiously every Sunday will still find new things."
A good example is A-Bomb Apparel. Ashley Battersby, formerly on the U.S. Freeskiing Team, handcrafts the products.
"She’s a fall-specific person," McDonald said. "We discovered her last year and she signed up for September only because that time of year is her best market."
McDonald said she is proud the Park Silly Sunday Market offers these opportunities to vendors and entrepreneurs.
"We also had five or six youth vendors this year, including a 9-year-old selling dog toys he made out of recycled material," she said. "To watch those people succeed and tell us they’ve had their best day ever, and for us to walk away from our job at the end of the day, knowing that nearly 200 vendors feel that good about their experience with us, is very rewarding."
Not only is it rewarding to see the market do well, but also see how well the other Main Street businesses do, Boyd said.
"Michelle and I walk up and down the street during the course of the day and take time to make sure that other stores are full and the patios are full and people are eating on Main Street," she said. "There are tons of people still activating the rest of Main Street away from the market and that’s great because it’s part of our goal."
Although the summer Silly Market is winding down, McDonald and her staff are already accepting vendor applications for next year, which will be the market’s 10-year anniversary. Applications can be found by visiting http://www.parksillysundaymarket.com.
Meanwhile, Boyd and McDonald are preparing for the Park Silly Winter Holiday Bazaar, which will celebrate its fifth season on Dec. 11-13 at the Park City Marriott, 1895 Sidewinder Dr.
"The days are already booked up and confirmed," McDonald said. "We’ll have more than 90 vendors who will participate. More than half of the vendors are new and some of the ones who are returning have never shown at the summer market."
These are all winter- and holiday-specific vendors, Boyd said.
"There will also be some vendors that are featured in the summer that will be part of the winter bazaar," she explained. "The Green Canary lotion guys are an example."
The Park Silly Sunday Market will conclude its summer season on Historic Main Street on Sunday, Sept. 20. The market will open at 10 a.m. Main Stage entertainment will feature Zumba with Denise at 10 a.m., 10th Mountain at 11 a.m., Elias the Magician at 1 p.m. and the day will wind up with a concert by the Changing Lanes Experience, beginning at 2 p.m. The Farmer’s Market Stage will feature Che Zuro at 10 a.m. and the 7th Street Stage will feature Wyatt Pike at 1 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.parksillysundaymarket.com .