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Robin Marrouche, executive director of the Kimball Art Center, pictured her at last year's festival, says funds raised by the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, which runs this weekend from Aug. 2-4, allow the art center to program the free year-round exhibits and community outreach programs. (Nan Chalat Noaker/Park Record)
In the past 44 years, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival has grown exponentially.

It started out as a small local fundraiser for the newly established Kimball Art Center and has grown into a four-day event featuring 225 artists from 32 states and Canada that stretches the full-length of Main Street.

This year's festival will be open Friday, Aug. 2, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Admission for Summit County residents (with I.D.) is free. Admission for adults is $10 for adults and $5 for children older than five. Children ages five and younger will be admitted for free.

Saturday, the festival will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Sunday the hours are 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The festival will feature an array of live music on three stages, a children's craft area, art demonstrations and food and drink.

The exhibits and performances are only a small part of this ever-evolving annual celebration of the arts, said Robin Marrouche, the Kimball Art Center's executive director.

"The Park City Kimball Arts Festival is not only the biggest fundraiser for the Kimball Art Center, but it's the second biggest local event held in Park City next to the Sundance Film Festival," Marrouche told The Park Record. "With the funds raised through the arts festival, the KAC is able to program all the free exhibits and educational outreach throughout the year, so it is very important to us."

The festival is also important for Park City.

Last year, 57,000 people attended the festival, Marrouche said.


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"We sanctioned an independent study that found the festival generated a $14 million economic impact to the community as a whole," she said. "The tourism that is generated by this event is significant to the area. About 40 percent of the people who attend the festival are from out-of-state.

"We want to continue to be a draw for people from around the country to not only attend our festival, but also to stay here for a three-to-four-day weekend in our hotels, eat at our wonderful restaurants and enjoy all the outdoor recreation opportunities Park City has to offer," Marrouche said.

This year, that mission faced a small obstacle — the remodeling of the Silver Queen Hotel at the intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue.

"I know it's not an ideal situation for us, but we have been in communication with the owners of the building and (New Star) contractors who are involved with the remodeling, and we are going to work around the construction," Marrouche said. "We will make sure that the construction won't be too much of an inconvenience for festival patrons, because we don't want it to make a negative impact on their experiences."

Another issue that has emerged over the years is parking.

"Many people have been reluctant to attend the festival because they are worried they won't find a place to park," Marrouche said. "I want to reassure everyone that the parking situation is easier than ever, because we've added parking lots, drop-off locations and busses."

Patrons can leave their cars and catch busses at Park City High School, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort.

"We worked with the city to add more busses to those routes that weekend, and they will come around every few minutes," Marrouche said. "They will drop patrons off at the bottom of Main Street and also at the transit center, so the transportation experience will be smooth and easy.

"We want to make sure that a parking problem doesn't interfere with a festival goer's experience," she said.

Since May, there has been road construction on Deer Valley Drive leading up to the resort, but Marrouche said there shouldn't be a problem with busses and parking when the festival begins.

"I believe most of the big construction on Deer Valley Drive will be behind us at that time," she said.

The Park City Kimball Arts Festival will run from Friday, Aug. 2, until Sunday, Aug. 4. For more information and a downloadable brochure, visit www.parkcitykimballartsfestival.org.