Volunteers make the Park City Kimball Arts Festival go ‘round
Steve and Kathy Holmes ready to help
August 4, 2017
Attendees at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival this weekend will see groups of people dressed in colorful shirts that sport the word "volunteer."
These groups, according to Courtney Dean — marketing and volunteer coordinator for the festival — are comprised of some of the most important people at the event.
"We usually recruit close to 400 people, and they fill between 500 to 600 shifts throughout the three days," Dean told The Park Record. "When the festival ends, these people will have completed nearly 2,000 volunteer hours, and that is so helpful for us."
A single shift usually runs between three to five hours, and there are plenty of assignments that need to be filled.
"Some of the jobs we need the most people for are the entry gates and concession stands," Dean said. "We have 11 entry gates around the festival. That's where volunteers sell (admission) wristbands, answer questions and hand out programs."
The concession stand volunteers will sell Coca-Cola products and water.
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"We also have volunteers who help the artists who are participating in the festival," Dean said. "Some volunteers check in really early Friday morning or help them pack up at the end of the festival."
There is also a group of volunteers who are in charge of artist relations.
"These are the ones that walk up and down Main Street and 'booth sit' if artists need to take a break for whatever reason," Dean said. "These volunteers also deliver water and lunches to the artists."
Some of the shifts have age requirements.
"Those that volunteer in our beer garden and VIP lounge need to be 21 and over, but generally all of our other shifts are open to ages 16 and older," Dean said. "That said, our kids activity area is open to volunteers ages 14 and older. We need lots of volunteers for face painting."
In return, Park City Kimball Arts Festival volunteers receive perks.
"First of all, they get to know they are supporting the Kimball Art Center's biggest fundraiser," Dean said with a laugh. "They also get free admission to the festival and a volunteer goody bag."
The bags are filled with donations from festival sponsors.
"This year we have Skullcandy earbuds, eBay sunscreen, Coco-Cola sunglasses and volunteer T-shirts — which were printed in Park City by Mountain Flower Apparel," Dean said. "Volunteers also get access to our volunteer lounge where they have food, coffee and other drinks and food."
Dean's favorite aspect of her job is working with volunteers.
"It's incredible to see so many people come together, give their time and support such a huge fundraiser for the Kimball Art Center," she said. "The people you meet doing this is much fun, and you see people who come back year after year."
Two returning volunteers are part-time Parkites Steve and Kathy Holmes.
The couple has made the trip from South Florida to work the Kimball Arts Festival for the past four years.
"I'm basically a professional volunteer, and the biggest drive for us is our desire to be part of the community we are in," Kathy said during a phone interview. " We also do some volunteering with the Christian Center of Park City."
During their time with the Kimball Arts Festival, the couple has worked a number of shifts and duties.
"I'm not a picky volunteer, and I tell them to put us wherever," Kathy said. "We have worked with the artist set up. We've also done the entry gates, which is something that I enjoy because we can chat with people. They come from everywhere. Some day-trip from Salt Lake, and others come from all over the country."
While Kathy has volunteered at many major events in Florida, her husband, Steve, recently joined her efforts after he retired a few years ago.
"When she was volunteering at the Miami Open in Florida, I volunteered so I could see her," he said with a laugh. "We both enjoy volunteering, and Kimball Arts Festival is great."
Kathy said one of the highlights for her is to see how the arts festival and participating artists have grown.
"It gets bigger and better every year," she said. "Things change every year. You see new artists and returning artists. That's one of the reasons why I love arts festivals. I love seeing an artist's work evolve."
While Steve said he doesn't have a memorable moment during his time as a Park City Kimball Arts Festival volunteer, Kathy does.
"I was helping with the volunteer and artist lounge three years ago and saw this woman who I recognized," she said.
The woman was artist Jean Yao, whom Kathy knew from South Florida.
"She is a fiber artist from Ft. Lauderdale, and I have a piece of hers in our Park City home," Kathy said with a laugh. "That was so fun."
The Holmeses agreed the biggest reward for them in volunteering at the arts festival is helping people.
"It's knowing you're supporting a good organization and city," he said. "Seeing the happiness in the people's faces when you can help them. It gives us a warm feeling."
The 48th Park City Kimball Arts Festival will run through Sunday, Aug. 6, on historic Main Street. Saturday's hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday's hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult weekend passes are $12. Passes for children ages 6 to 17 are $6. Children ages 5 and younger will be admitted for free. For information, visit http://www.parkcitykimballartsfestival.org.