A birthday bash for Park City, with Sam Bush as entertainment
May 26, 2009
It’s going to be some birthday celebration next month.
Park City will throw itself a party to mark the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the municipality. Settlers arrived a little while before then, but the local government did not begin operating until 1884.
And plenty of Parkites will likely be interested in the entertainment: bluegrass legend Sam Bush.
The Park City Council recently approved a daylong celebration on Main Street on June 13, culminating with a concert by Bush, long a top-shelf figure in bluegrass and the newfangled musical style known as ‘Newgrass.’
There was little discussion as the City Councilors approved a permit for the Park City Chamber/Bureau for the celebration. The organizers have been planning an event to mark the 125th anniversary for some time, but details had not been finalized until recently.
The Bush performance is scheduled from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on lower Main Street, a popular location for bigger public concerts. The concert is free and open to the public. Bob Kollar, a Park City Chamber/Bureau official who is helping organize the event, said he expects up to 5,000 people to attend the Bush concert.
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"That was the idea, to get a headline band to make it more than just your traditional free concert," Kollar said.
The performance will be part of a tour that starts in Ohio on June 6. He is scheduled to play in Richmond, Va., two days before the Park City concert and will leave Park City for a planned show on June 20 at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, Colo., according to Bush’s Web site.
Brian Richards, the executive director of Mountain Town Stages, a not-for-profit organization that puts on local concerts and was involved with booking Bush, said the concert matches well with Park City’s tastes. Bush is "Americana, mountain town," Richards said.
"He’s a man of the mountains, got the mountain music going," Richards said, adding that he hopes the celebration on lower Main Street will "epitomize what Park City is all about."
The concert will end a day of events on lower Main Street that will start with a breakfast and a motorcycle ride, the organizers said. Max Paap, who directs special events for City Hall, said Main Street will be closed to traffic between Heber Avenue and the trolley turnaround at the bottom of the street for most of the day.
Some of the entertainment scheduled for the celebration includes:
A walking parade of civic organizations and businesses at about 11:30 a.m. The parade will descend from upper Main Street to Miners Park. The parade will include entries celebrating the city’s history, including the silver-mining era and the 2002 Winter Olympics, a schedule submitted to the elected officials before they approved the permit indicates.
Concerts start at Miners Park at noon and run until 5:30 p.m. Scheduled performers are Lash Larue, Swagger and Fat Paw.
On the main stage, where Bush will play, performers are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. The Park City High School jazz band has a timeslot, as do people who practice tai chi, a troupe of Irish dancers and a mariachi band.
From 7 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., City Hall officials are scheduled to give short remarks about the 125th anniversary and Summit County leaders will give the city a birthday gift. Summit County Councilman David Ure, who once represented Park City in the Utah House of Representatives, will choose the gift from the county.
Park City officials in early March, coinciding more closely with the actual date of the incorporation, endorsed a resolution commemorating the anniversary. The resolution spoke of a terrible 1898 fire that destroyed much of Park City and mentioned the rise of Park City into a resort community decades later.
The celebration is scheduled on the eve of the opening of a Western Governors’ Association meeting in Deer Valley that is expected to draw a roster of high-profile politicians. Paap said some of them might attend the event. He said he hopes Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. or Gary Herbert, the lieutenant governor, will address the crowd if they attend.
"I just envision Park City coming together, you’re seeing all your neighbors in the street," Richards said.