Main Street never tires of Park Silly-ness at the Sunday Market
Weekly open-air street fair opens June 4
Park Silly Sunday Market, the town’s fully green open-air market and street fair, is a venue where neighbors and friends gather to celebrate the community.
It’s 11th year will start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 4, on historic Main Street, and will run each week until Sept. 17, except Aug. 6 and 13. Deer Valley Resort is the opening sponsor.
During a Park Record interview last week, Executive Director Kate McChesney and Michelle McDonald, director of operations and vendor logistics, said they are ready to rock.
“Last year, 196,000 people visited the Park Silly Sunday Market and that averages out to 14,000 people per Sunday,” McChesney said. “It’s nice, because this shows that the Park Silly Sunday Market is definitely something that is part of this town. I think we’ve proven ourselves that we are a good addition to Main Street and the local arts and culture vibrancy.”
Each week there will be about 170 vendors that set up shop along Main Street, McDonald said.
“Our footprint is actually about 200 spaces, but some of that is for us to set up information booths, first-aid stations and sponsors,” she said. “We also offer between four and eight spaces each week to local nonprofits or businesses who promote and educate sustainability or help serve the community.”
The list includes organizations such as Wild Heart Sanctuary, Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, YMCA of Northern Utah and The Park City Summit County Arts Council, to name a few.
“We give free spaces to all the growers and producers who participate in our farmers market,” McDonald said.
One of the biggest goals for Park Silly Sunday Market is to give up-and-coming businesses a place to introduce themselves to the public.
“This is what makes us love what we do,” McChesney said. “It gives us a passion for it all.”
Some of the now-established businesses that started with Park Silly are restaurants and food vendors, including Sammie’s Bistro, Skewered Thai and Red Bicycle Breadworks.
“This year, Skewered Thai isn’t going to be with us, because we had applications for some different and new food vendors,” McDonald said. “Since Skewered Thai has their own brick-and-mortar restaurant, we felt it was important to give others a chance. It was like sending our children off to college.”
McDonald said she likes to select food vendors who offer tastes that aren’t offered in Old Town.
“We also give first priority to Summit County businesses,” she said.
This year Park Silly will feature two new food vendors, Unseen Poutine and PC Pita.
“They are brand new and who are trying to launch,” McDonald said.
Another vendor category that has flourished are youth-run booths.
“These are kids who are ages 18 and younger,” McDonald said. “They are my favorite and we get more and more every year.”
“We have always had youth vendors since conception, but the category wasn’t it’s own special category until a few years ago,” McChesney said. “Some of our best vendors started when they were teens and now they are adult vendors.”
One example is KGEK Jewelry.
“Brothers Graham and Ethan Reynolds started with us when we started in 2006 when they were 9 and 11,” McDonald said. “Now they are in college and employing their parents, Kathryn and Kevin, at the booth. KGEK stands for Kathryn, Graham, Ethan and Kevin.”
Another youth vendor who came of age at Park Silly was Kyle Hass, owner of Kyle’s Cold Brew, a company that specializes in coffees.
“Kyle is graduating high school this year, so he’ll turn into an adult vendor,” McChesney said.
More than 30 youth vendors submitted applications this year.
“As we’ve had more youth vendors over the years, word-of-mouth has spurred more youth vendors to come forward,” McDonald said. “We also pull from high schools and junior high schools for volunteers and sometimes they will see their friends or other youth vendors and want to do it themselves.”
Although Park Silly Sunday Market has changed and developed over the past 11 years, McChesney and McDonald strive to maintain the quirky and adventurous aura it had when it first started.
“I think there are people who want to see new things and new vendors, but at the same time I think they enjoy seeing some of the same things, such as the Bloody Mary bar, the free music programmed by Mountain Town Stages, the street performers, face painting and other kids activities,” McChesney said. “These people like knowing the farmers’ market is always up by the post office and the bike valet is always at the bottom of Main Street.”
While Mountain Town Stages programs the main stage and Miners Park concerts, McDonald and McChesney program the street performers.
“We’re going to have some new stilt-walkers this year, and we’ve asked Granger School of Music to program some of the youth musicians as well,” McChesney said.
The one goal that will never change is making sure the market is green.
Last year, Park Silly Sunday Market diverted more than 87 percent of trash from the landfill. More than 25,500 pounds of trash was recycled, including 1,450 pounds of food that Park Silly volunteers and staff fed to the local pigs, McChesney said.
“Zero waste is what we have always strived for,” she said. “It’s one of our largest expenses. It costs money to go green, but we have a great staff who is just as passionate as we are.”
Park Silly Sunday Market constantly needs passionate volunteers.
“It takes 18 to 20 volunteers per day to get the market running,” McDonald said.
“We will accept volunteers ages 12 to 80 throughout the market and we are so appreciative for them.”
Volunteers will receive an array of rewards, including meals, gifts from vendor donations and tickets to activities in Summit County, McChesney said.
“Volunteering is a fun way for students to fulfill their community service hours,” she said. “Mostly all they have to do is meet and greet our guests.”
The Park Silly Sunday Market will open for the season at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 4, on historic Main Street. The ecofriendly, open-air artist and farmers market, street festival and community forum will run every Sunday until Sept. 17, except Aug. 6 and 13. Each week the market hosts more than 180 vendors, a Bloody Mary bar, live music, roving entertainers and fun activities for kids. For more information, visit http://www.parksillysundaymarket.com.
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