Nightmare on Main Street
Halloween is for ghouls, ghosts, goblins and other things that go bump in the night.
It’s also a celebration for kids and dogs, if you live in Park City, because Historic Park City Alliance is gearing up for its free, annual Halloween on Historic Main Street event on Oct. 31.
The night will feature trick-or-treating for the kids and a Howl-O-Ween Paw-ty parade. There will also be a costume contest for both the children and pooches, said Meisha Lawson, of the Historic Park City Alliance.
"We’re excited to host this fun event again," Lawson said. "We’re looking forward to all the fun costumes on the kids and the pets."
Halloween on Historic Main reaches back to the mid-1990s when merchants began handing out candy, Lawson said.
A few years later, the idea came up to close Main Street for a few hours.
"The original closure was between 4th and 5th Streets," Lawson said. "And the first year the entire street closed was 2010."
The dog costume parade was started by Park City Silly Market co-founder Kimberly Kuehn a few years prior.
"So the event has evolved throughout the years," Lawson said.
There will be more changes this year as well, she said.
"In the past we’ve only closed from Heber Avenue to the Swede Alley intersection, but this year, we’re going to close all of Main Street," Lawson explained. "In the past, we’ve seen that main intersection on Swede Alley get a lot of traffic because cars are trying to turn-around and kids want to get up in the area, so we’re going to close the entire street."
The close will begin around 2 p.m.
"We will try to track down owners of the vehicles to move their cars around 1 p.m.," Lawson said. "In the past, we’ve always been able to do that. Everyone kind of knows what is coming. So by 2:15 p.m. the street is closed."
Residents of upper Main will still have access to their homes, Lawson promised.
"People will still have access to Park Avenue and King Road from Marsac Avenue, so those who live in the upper Main area will be able to access their homes, but we will have police directing traffic," she said.
Still, Lawson said people should be prepared for some inconveniences.
"Busses will be routed around in lower Main through 9th Street and Swede Alley will be open, but we’ll have a turn around at the China Bridge parking entrance," she explained. "So we are encouraging people to access the parking garage from Marsac Avenue.
"Also, since this year’s event will be held on a Friday, we’re expecting inflated crowds and we want to make sure everyone has room to be about," she said. "We’re expecting big crowds."
The Historic Park City Alliance will also offer off-site parking at Park City High School and is encouraging participants to carpool, walk, bike or use public transportation.
"Obviously, the four-legged creatures are not welcome on the busses, but we are encouraging people to carpool," Lawson said.
The schedule is as follows:
"We will give out certificates to the best costumes we see on kids and the best costumes we see the kids wearing throughout the night," Lawson said. "We don’t have a list of businesses who are participating in handing out treats, but a majority of them will be doing it."
"At this time, all the kids who have received the voucher, they will report to the KSL station, which will be located at the Post Office and we’ll identify the winner," Lawson said.
"Like we did with the kids, we will hand out vouchers for the doggie costumes we think are great," Lawson said. "It works out nicely because after two hours of trick or treating, the kids are usually wound down and the dog Paw-ty emerges after that."
"The reason why we’re following such a structured schedule is because all of the finalists will be featured on air during KSL’s 6 o’clock news," Lawson said. "We will also have prizes for the winners and we’re still getting those in order."
Friends of Animals Utah is one of the sponsors for the Howl-O-Ween Paw-ty.
"In addition to Friend of Animals Utah, who have always supported the event, sponsors are also Canines with a Cause, Paws for Life and Intermountain Therapy Animals," Lawson said. "This is a great opportunity to learn about these nonprofit organizations that focus on animals in our community."
After the festivities, Main Street will open around 6:45 p.m. or 7 p.m.
"The event casually ends around 6:30 p.m. because the weather is a little cooler and the sun has gone down," Lawson said. "So police will open the street around the dinner hour."
Last year Travel + Leisure Magazine did a round up about the best Halloween celebrations in the country and Park City’s Halloween on Historic Main came in at No. 3, Lawson said.
"That was pretty neat to be included in that article," she said. "We usually think of this time of the year as the slow season, but we’re continually getting more media coverage and more excitement around the fall."
Historic Park City Alliance will present its annual Halloween on Historic Main Street on Friday, Oct. 31, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.historicparkcityutah.com.
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“We wouldn’t want to be responsible for a massive COVID outbreak, and the Santa Pub Crawl attracts hundreds of people every year who gather in small venues up and down Main Street. We felt it wasn’t good timing.”