Park City celebrates the Fourth of July with fun
July 6, 2016
There's nothing like a Park City Fourth of July.
The day is one big party that starts with a pancake breakfast at City Park and a Cole Sport 5K fun run. From there, the park fills with rugby games, live music and kids activities.
Of course, one of the day's highlights is the annual Fourth of July Parade on Main Street, according to Joel Fine, who has organized the event with the Park City Chamber/Bureau for the past 11 years.
"While we will have less floats than in the past, the crowd of people who watch the parade has grown considerably," Fine said. "I can't really give you a number or percentage because there really isn't a way to count the number of people who attend, but people are putting out their blankets and lawn chairs up and down the whole parade route on Main Street hours and hours ahead of schedule."
The parade, which will start at 11 a.m., will feature close to 60 floats and live music performed by Mariachi Zavala, the Salt Lake Scots Pipe Band, the Salt Lake Saints and the Park City High School Marching Band.
"Rumor has it that there may be a wedding performed during the parade," Fine said slyly. "I have it on good authority, but it's just a rumor."
This year's parade theme is "America: Let the Spirit Continue," and floats will be awarded in the following categories.
"There could be more categories that pop up as well," Fine said. "However, we want to stress that the participants keep the parade going. We don't want them to stop and do a little dance or presentation for the judges. There is no place or platform to do any of that. We ask them to perform as they are walking."
The parade will run down Main Street and make a left on 9th Avenue and a right on Park Avenue and end just past City Park, according to Fine.
"The parade is all about the kids," he said. "It's fun to see them in awe as they watch the parade. For some, this is the first time they have ever seen a parade.
"It's always fresh because each year is different," Fine said. "The parades are similar, but you never know what will show up. "
Fine said he could always use volunteers to help with crowd control along the parade route.
"If someone want to help, we will happily use them," he said with a laugh.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Fine by calling 435-901-2171 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the floats and musicians, the parade will feature an Air Force flyover.
"We are fortunate once again to have a flyover," Fine said. "I'm not sure if it will be right at 11, but it will be here, and that's great because a lot of people look forward to it. I mean, it's absolutely thrilling and raises the hair on the back of your neck."
Once the parade ends, the City Park festivities will continue, according to Jenny Diersen, Park City Municipal Corporation's special events coordinator.
"The change in the activities is that they will take place at the north end of the park instead of the south end," Diersen explained. "We'll have rugby at the north end and we'll have a beer garden, a Rotary barbecue, and kids activities that will be hosted by a local Boy Scout troop." The live music will be performed by the Motherlode Canyon Band and Swagger.
Fine said another challenge of presenting a big party like the Fourth of July celebration is maintaining the Park City feel.
"The best way to do that is to keep it local and keep it funky," he said. "Obviously, the real concern I have is safety and people enjoying themselves. People should also bring sunscreen, wear hats and drink lots of water."
Fine and Diersen also want to encourage people to plan accordingly.
"They should take mass transportation, walk, bike or carpool," Fine said. To encourage carpooling, Richardson Flats will be open as a carpool lot, Diersen said.
"We will not service transit out there, but people can meet their friends and park a few cars there if they're coming in from Eastern Summit County or Wasatch County and drive into town in one car to help ease traffic and congestion," she said. "People can also park at Richardson Flats and ride their bikes on the Rail Trail into town." Another parking option is Park City High School.
"From there, people can take the free transit to the event," Diersen said. "We are increasing transit service and will have a bus lane on Deer Valley Drive to make sure transit has priority getting to Main Street."
From City Park, the celebration will move to Park City Mountain Resort for more live music by Holy Water Buffalo and Sin City Soul.
The fireworks will be at the resort and will start at dusk, according to Diersen.
"Park City's Fourth of July is definitely a local community event," Diersen said. "We have so many local participants either in the parade or working with us at City Park. So much planning goes into this and it involves the whole community to pull it off.
"Of course, when we have events of this size, the main coordination is safety, security and transportation," she said. "Again, coordinating both with Summit County and various departments in the city, we look for ways to help people get to the event and have a fun time. That's what it's all about."
Park City's Fourth of July celebration will begin at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at City Park. The celebration will move to Park City Mountain Resort at 5:30 p.m., with more live music with Holy Water Buffalo at 5 p.m. and Sin City Soul at 7 p.m. Fireworks will start at dusk. For more information, visit http://www.parkcity.com.
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