111th Annual Miner’s Day celebrations
Modern-day Park City would hardly be recognizable to its miner trailblazers. Dirt roads have been paved. Lampposts line the streets. Posh world-class ski resorts bring in thousands of visitors from around the globe. The resorts breathed new life into a town that could have easily been eroded away by time and the seasons. However, the miners who settled Park City have helped distinguish it from most other resort towns.
"It’s a way for all of us to together and celebrate our history together," said Flint A. Decker, chairperson for Miner’s Day. "It’s also a great way to get together and have one more party in the park before we all go off into the ski season." The Park City Rotary Club presents this year’s Miner’s Day celebrations.
St. Mary’s Church is sponsoring a pancake breakfast to start the day off right at 7 a.m. in City Park. A 5k run to benefit the Youth Winter Sports Alliance will follow at 8:30 a.m. The run is open to all ages. As the race finishes on Main Street, it will be time for the Running of the Balls more than 2,500 tennis balls, in fact. It’s $5 to purchase a ball or $20 for five. Balls can be purchased from any Park City Rotary member and at the pancake breakfast or before running. The grand prizes for the winning balls are full season passes to Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort or The Canyons.
Celebrations get back to their roots with the Miner’s Day parade at 11 a.m. At 11 minutes after the hour, a vintage USAF plane does a fly-over as more than 40 floats from various organizations take over Main Street. There is one requirement: dress funky. What’s required to be "funky"? Retro ski gear or silly costumes.
The highlight of the day comes at 1:30 p.m. when miners from all over the Intermountain West come together in City Park for the mucking and drilling competition. It comes highly recommended from the emcee and host, Richard Martinez.
"Mucking and drilling isn’t something you see every day," he said. "These miners are getting few and far between." Martinez is a third-generation Parkite who worked in the mines for more than 50 years.
It’s surprising mucking and drilling hasn’t made its way into gyms as the next fitness trend. Mucking is the technique used to excavate material from the mines. Drilling is just as is sounds. Competitors handle large, pneumatic drills and drill into large rocks. Decker said the concrete "rocks" for the competition cure for 30 days.
Martinez remembers Miner’s Days from his childhood where they weren’t the extravagant celebrations they are today. The parade mainly consisted of a handful of decorated vehicles, fire trucks or ambulances, and kids marching or on bikes.
Now, Miner’s Day has grown into a big celebration that will have people lining all of Main Street and Park Avenue, cheering and saluting the miners that helped shape Park City.
The Park City Rotary Club has a full day of activities planned for this year’s Funky Old Miner’s Day. Mark your calendar for Monday, Sept. 1, so you don’t miss out.
Event: Pancake Breakfast
When: 7 a.m.
Where: City Park
Event: Funky 5-k Fun Run
When: 8:30 a.m.
Where: Starts in City Park and ends on Main Street
Event: Running of the Balls
When: 10:45 p.m.
Where: Main Street
Cost: $5/ball or $20/5 balls
Grand prizes: Season pass to Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort or The Canyons Resort
Event: Funky Old Miner’s Day Parade and Vintage USAF Stearman Fly-Over
When: 11 a.m.
Event: Kids games, kite making and Motherlode Canyon Band
When: 12:30 p.m.
Where: City Park
Event: Mucking and drilling competition
When: 1:30 p.m.
Where: Library Field
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In an intriguing sidebar to the overall Park City Planning Commission talks about a proposed project at Park City Mountain Resort, the developer recently mentioned a future Winter Olympics in the context of the project.