Park Silly Sunday Market returns to lower Main Street after coronavirus shut last season down
Online vendor directory still up and running
Park Silly Sunday Market is ready to lighten things up after a year of seriousness.
The free, open-air artisan fair will open on June 6, and run each week during the summer from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on lower Main Street through Sept. 26, except on Aug. 1, 8 and 15, said Executive Director Kate McChesney.
“It’s huge to get back, and it’s been nothing but positive feedback from local residents, vendors, Main Street merchants, community partners and friends,” McChesney said. “They are all excited knowing that we’re all going to come together on June 6 to kick off the summer and get back to that little bit of normalcy.”
Although Michelle McDonald, director of operations and vendor logistics, said it will feel somewhat normal to get the market up and running this year, she is working double time to approve applications and assign booth space.
“Typically at this point in a normal year, all our vendors are approved and the waitlist has started,” McDonald said. “This year, I haven’t told the ones who are going to be on the waitlist that they are waitlisted yet.”
The delay is due to so much “false hope” surrounding the coronavirus pandemic over the past year and half, according to McChesney.
“We didn’t want to make any assumptions and jump the gun on approving the vendors,” she said. “So, we’re a little more rushed than we typically would be.”
McChesney and McDonald remember what it felt like when the Park City Council approved this year’s market. They were participating remotely in a City Council meeting on April 29, and McChesney and Jenny Diersen, City Hall’s special events and economic development program manager, had laid out the plan for Silly Market’s opening day.
“Right then and there they had a unanimous vote to let us open,” McChesney said. “It was overwhelming.”
McDonald began reaching out to vendors and musicians with the news.
“Our first line of invites went out to those who were going to be part of the 2020 market, which we had to cancel,” she said. “We wanted to make sure those who missed that opportunity were the first ones invited back. I do know that those artists, small business owners and entrepreneurs really took a hit in 2020.”
McDonald also received a lot of applications from new vendors this year.
“That was cool, because we weren’t able to hunt for new vendors because of COVID last year,” she said.
The market will set up hand sanitizing stations and offer free masks at the information booths, McChesney said.
“Masks are recommended, but not required,” she said. “And Michelle is also setting up more seats down at the bottom of the street to encourage six feet between people.”
McDonald and McChesney also encourage Park Silly patrons to leave their dogs at home.
“The pavement can be really hot for their paws in 100-degree weather,” McChesney said. “So, while we won’t bother people who are maskless, we will bother people who bring their pets.”
These adjustments are designed to help people feel more comfortable at the market, McDonald said.
“We want to encourage everyone to do the things that will allow them to come out and hang out with neighbors and friends,” she said.
With all of the applications and suggestions from the city to ensure social distancing, McDonald found herself in a new dilemma.
“We have to cut back 40-plus vendors for the first four weeks to allow more space in the narrower areas,” she said. “Since we’re on public property, we can’t really manage our attendance, but we can give everyone a little more elbow room by losing some of our booths.”
To help vendors with that hit, they will be added to the Park Silly Sunday Market online vendor directory page that was set up last year.
“We will make sure all the new vendors will get included in the directory this year,” McChesney said.
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, except Aug. 1, 8 and 15
Where: Lower Main Street
Park Silly Sunday Market relies on our volunteers to provide a great and silly experience to guests. Volunteers are part of a team that supports budding entrepreneurs, artists, musicians and local farmers. Morning and afternoon shifts are available. There is no heavy lifting and all of the shifts are seated and in the shade. In exchange for their time, volunteers receive free lunches and earn vendor gift certificates. For information, call 435-714-4036. To sign up, visit parksillysundaymarket.com/apply/volunteers.
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