Park Silly Market opens its 2019 season Sunday in Park City
Park Silly Sunday Market 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays from June 2 to Sept. 22, except Aug. 4, 11 and 18 Main Street Free parksillysundaymarket.com
The staff of the Park Silly Sunday Market was getting antsy before the Sunday opening its 13th season on Main Street.
“I’m just waiting for Sunday to get here,” McDonald said during a joint interview with Executive Director Kate McChesney. “All the planning is done, and we really want it to start.”
The annual street fair, which is free and open to all ages opens each Sunday at 10 a.m., and runs through Sept. 22, except Aug. 4, 11 and 18.
Each week will feature a different palette of upstart businesses, artists and restaurateurs, including a handful of youth vendors, McDonald said.
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The youth participants include11-year-old ski racer Austin Glidden, McChesney said.
“Austin sold lemonade last year with the goal of supplementing some of his skiing camp costs,” she said. “He did four of five markets and ended up making enough money to pay for all of last year’s, and part of this year’s, camps.”
Other youth vendors include 13-year-old Calvin Marsh, and lacrosse-playing brothers Jackson and Boston Earl, who are 17 and 15 yearsold, respectively, McDonald said.
“Calvin will sell furniture, and the Earls have started a lifestyle clothing brand called Goose It Lacrosse, LLC,” she said. “We are happy to have them participate in the market this year.”
In addition to the young entrepreneurs, this year’s Silly Market will feature a list of youth musicians, McChesney said.
“These are kids who will busk on the sidewalk for tips, and play at their leisure,” McChesney said. “We aren’t going to burden them with setlists, so it’s fine if they only want to play two or three songs,”
The Silly Market’s goal for these young musicians is to expose them to a large audience, according to McChesney.
One youth musician who has benefited from Park Silly Sunday Market exposure is 15-year-old violist Michael MacNamara, who was 13 when made his Main Street debut.
“He has since performed with the Park City Beethoven Festival in front of auditorium-sized audiences because he was able to adapt to having thousands of people hear him play during the Silly Markets,” McChesney said.
While youth musicians will dot the sidewalks, older and more established musicians will perform on the Farmer’s Market, Miners Park and Main stages, venues that are all programmed by Brian Richards, director of Mountain Town Music.
While the Miners Park lineup has yet to be announced, Sunday’s Main Stage performances will include The Electric Moose Band and Memphis McCool, while the Farmer’s Market stage will feature Zachari Helios Peterson and Teresa Eggertsen Cooke.
McChesney and McDonald find many of the musicians and vendors through their own market research.
“We visit other events and see performers and what people are selling,” McDonald said. “Sometimes we hear about people through our friends, other contacts and parents.”
Before any agreement is made, McChesney runs through a list of standards she wants to maintain.
“We make sure the vendors we recruit aren’t doing multi-level marketing and direct sales,” she said.
Logan Rodriguez, a Park City Fire District paramedic, is one such newcomer to the group of adult vendors.
“He’s going to give it a go with some street tacos,” McDonald said. “And we have another business called Cluckers who make chicken sliders.”
McDonald and McChesney keep track of the different musicians, vendors and artists with a detailed checklist.
“Everything from the littlest things, including the codes to all the different storage units to Twizzler candy straws for our frozen drinks, are on that list,” McChesney said. “The reason even the smallest items are on the checklist is because they have been forgotten at one point in Park Silly history.”
One responsibility for McDonald is measuring and marking up the vendors’ spaces on Main Street.
“I normally do that at the beginning of May, because that’s when the sun is usually up,” she said. “I can wear a tank top and shorts and stand in the middle of the road with my chalk wheel and duct tape to mark off the 200-plus spaces.”
This spring’s precipitation has made McDonald’s job more difficult.
“The duct tape and chalk don’t work well when the road is covered with snow or water that is streaming down the side of the road,” she said. “So preparing the site for this Sunday has been a little last minute.”
Still, McDonald said the day’s vendor list is full.
“There won’t be many farmers this time because it’s early in the season and they have a lot of things that are wet and growing but not harvested,” she said.
McDonald and McChesney also rely on their team members and volunteers to help the markets run smoothly.
“There is also something to be said about having the same team members who all know their jobs,” McChesney said. “Everything is in place, and we know if the market had to start right now, today, it would be fine.”
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Some of the recordings are of radio broadcasts from decades past, and some of the recordings are from Beethoven Festival performances from the past few years.