Sunday on Main Street looks to be Silly | ParkRecord.com

Sunday on Main Street looks to be Silly

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The silliness will return to Main Street on Sunday.

The Park Silly Sunday Market, after a trying winter, is scheduled to open the 2010 season, its fourth, on Main Street with a revamped event. The organizers will extend Silly Market offerings from its traditional locale on lower Main Street to upper Main Street, the key change this year as they attempt to assuage merchants and restaurateurs who have claimed that the Silly Market has funneled business away.

"The energy is going to be taken up a notch," said Kimberly Kuehn, the CEO of the Silly Market.

The not-for-profit Silly Market, with its merchandise booths, food offerings and entertainment, has become a popular Sunday destination for Parkites and people from the Salt Lake Valley, drawing 90,000 people in 2009. The organizers hope the attendance reaches a little more than 100,000 this year.

Some of the new looks in 2010 will include:

There will be what Kuehn describes as pockets of booths and entertainment in three locations uphill from Heber Avenue — Centennial Park, Miners Park and the parking lot outside the Main Street post office. The locations are meant to draw Silly Market-goers to the upper reaches of Main Street. The merchants and restaurants on that stretch of Main Street have said the crowds did not wander uphill during the Silly Market in past years.

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Many Main Street merchants will be putting up Silly Market decorations, seen as a partnership between the event organizers and Main Street to mend the frayed relations. Some businesses are also expected to hold sidewalk sales, Kuehn said.

A farmers market and gourmet food vendors will operate in the parking lot of the Main Street post office.

A yoga class will be offered at Miners Park.

A make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, open to people 21 years and older.

"We’re trying to extend the energy, get things rolling," Kuehn said.

She projected the Silly Market will offer between 120 and 130 vendors each week, with the mix changing each week. More than 500 artisans, food sellers and others had applied for booth slots by late in the spring.

The move uphill on Main Street is critical as the Silly Market organizers work more closely with the brick-and-mortar businesses on the street. If business remains soft at the shops and restaurants south of Heber Avenue, there will likely be additional hard feelings. But if the businesses are able to draw inside customers who are on Main Street for the Silly Market, they could enjoy a boost in sales that otherwise might not have occurred without the event.

"Absolutely, it’s going to work," Alison Butz, the executive director of the Historic Main Street Business Alliance, said.

Butz said 14 merchants, mostly on the upper stretch of Main Street, have said they will hold what are being dubbed ‘Silly Specials’ on Sundays. Some of them will have sidewalk sales, she said.

"What we’re trying to do is make small improvements," Butz said. "We have to try it and see what we hear from the merchants."

She said the business alliance plans to conduct a poll in July to measure the initial effects of the Silly Market’s new blueprints.

The 2010 edition of the Silly Market will also be closely watched at City Hall, which inked an agreement with the organizers in February to keep the event on Main Street for three years with another four years in options. City Hall provided an incentive package totaling $115,600 each year, with some of the funding paying for the expansion of the activities uphill.

In the months leading up to the agreement, Silly Market organizers had indicated they were scouting alternative locations should the negotiations not result in an accord.

The Silly Market runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. starting June 13 and ending Sept. 26. The market over Independence Day weekend will be held on Saturday to avoid scheduling conflicts with 4th of July activities. There will not be a market held Aug. 8 as the Park City Kimball Arts Festival occupies Main Street.

The organizers on Sunday plan a ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Town Lift Plaza to honor the late Park City Councilman Roger Harlan. Activity space for kids will be named Roger Dodger Land in memory of Harlan, who spent his career working with youths.

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