Summers get Silly with the weekly market on Main Street
Artisan fair supports vendors’ passions
Park Silly Sunday Market
- When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, beginning June 4 (no markets July 2 and 30, and Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27)
- Where: Lower Main Street
- Cost: Free
- Web: parksillysundaymarket.com
Park Silly Sunday Market, the weekly, open-air, family- and eco-friendly artisan fair opens its 17th season on Sunday, June 4, on Main Street.
This year’s run will be a little different, said Michelle McDonald, the market’s director of operations.
“We have pulled the Farmers Market that is normally located on 5th Street by the post office, and relocated it down to lower Main Street with the rest of the market,” she said. “And from Heber Avenue down to 9th Street and Deer Valley Drive, we’ll have our regular vendor spaces.”
The market, which will feature everything from locally made clothing, accessories, utensils, ceramics and art, opens at 10 a.m. every Sunday — except July 2 and 30, and Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27 — on through Sept. 24. And some of those vendors include what McDonald and McChesney calls “kid-preneurs.”
“We have a dozen different youth vendors that are scheduled throughout the summer,” McDonald said.
One of those kid-preneurs is Ezra Rosenfield, owner of Pupcycle Toys for pets.
“This will be his 10th Park Silly Sunday Market, and his last year as a youth vendor,” she said. “He’s graduating high school this year, and he wants to come back as an adult vendor this year.”
McDonald remembered when Rosenfield first joined the Park Silly family.
“He was a little kid when he started, and each summer we saw him get taller and taller,” she said “Then one year he was the one driving to the market instead of getting a ride from his mom.”
Another youth-fronted vendor is Katie’s Box of Sunshine, McDonald said.
“They make hand-poured candles, and work with young people with disabilities,” she said. “They show them they can do fun work and support themselves.”
Providing a place for young entrepreneurs like Rosenfield is one of the Silly Market’s important roles, according to McChesney.
“There are so many more children who are passionate and entrepreneurial in Park City, Summit County and the Wasatch Back,” she said. “Watching all of them come through Park Silly and develop and grow is incredible.”
Local youths also fill a portion of the live music lineup that is programmed by Mountain Town Music, McChesney said.
“We have the local School of Rock and music instructors from the high schools who continually send their kids to us to get them in front of people,” she said. “We also hire the kids during the winter when we do our Silly Holiday Bazaars, and I know a few of them who have been hired for other community functions. So, it’s great to see that there is some traction out there.”
In addition to the youth vendors, Park Silly Sunday Market is also known for showcasing creative adult business owners, McDonald said.
“Peony Springs will join us during the early part of the summer, because their flowers bloom in June and early July,” McDonald said. “And Rocky Mountain Mini Donuts will cook fresh mini-donuts on the spot down on Food Row.”
Bob ‘N’ Poppy, run by Ellie Giesbrecht, offers an array of yarn work and home decor, and a lot of her work was featured in Janeen Damian‘s 2022 holiday film “Falling For Christmas,” starring Lindsey Lohan.
The movie was filmed at the The Residences at Goldener Hirsch at Deer Valley, McDonald said
“This was sort of like our friend Walter Foster of Fine Fin Art,” she said. “The ‘Yellowstone’ people discovered him at the Silly Market, and a bunch of his artwork was featured on their sets.”
All Park Silly Sunday Market vendor applications open a few months before opening day, McDonald said.
“Kate and I are always looking for a good assortment, generally something that isn’t really offered on Main Street,” she said. “These vendors also need to be able to handle the volume of Silly Sunday traffic.”
The two also work closely with food vendors to ensure safety, Michelle said.
“It’s not an easy thing to pop up a kitchen and do it well, so we find people who really want to do it and we work together to get everything in order,” she said. “We have to dial things in with the Summit County Health Department, as well as the town’s building and fire codes due to the fuel and cooking equipment.”
Many local eateries who are now working out of brick-and-mortar facilities got their start as a Park Silly Sunday Market kiosk, McDonald said.
“Mark and Sue Spencer have more Silly Sundays under (their) belt than Michelle and me,” she said with a laugh. “Their two daughters Lynn and Sonja, who just graduated college, grew up working with their parents at the market.”
McDonald has fond memories regarding the Spencer girls.
“I remember when one of them danced around dressed up as a frozen banana,” she said with a laugh.
The Park Silly Sunday Market was founded in 2006 by McChesney’s sister Kimberly Kuehn, and a few years later, McChesney and McDonald took over operations.
“Michelle and I knew each other for a few years prior,” McChesney said. “We’re both from New England, and I knew she had a great work ethic. So it came time for me to become a Silly Girl, I immediately reached out to Michelle.”
Throughout the years, the friendship between McChesney and McDonald strengthened to the point they began finishing each other’s sentences during business transactions and media interviews.
“I can look at Michelle from across the room and she knows what I need, and vice versa,” McChesney said. “She is my best friend, my person, who knows maybe too much of my life.”
McdDonald feels the same about McChesney.
“We realized this synergy we have together about Silly, extends to other things we do,” she said. “Now we can’t say no to anything, and when people ask us to help with an event, Kate will go, ‘If you’re in, I’m in.’ And we’ll do what we need to do.”
Ziegfeld Theater Company continues its two-weekend run of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” from Sept. 30-Oct. 1, and Oct. 5-8 at the Egyptian Theatre.
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