A seriously successful debut for Silly Market
June 23, 2007
Fifteen-year-old Zachary Baca, propped up on stilts, cloaked in polka dot pants and clown makeup, towers high above the first Park Silly Sunday Market. Toddlers circle his artificial ankles, straining their necks to watch him twist balloons into animal shapes.
From his perch, had he not been so focused on his craft, Baca could survey the bustling Old Town scene: the local produce on 7th Street, the artisan tents of jewelers, blacksmiths and clothes designers, bakery vendors on lower Main, and the bagpipe players, belly dancers and opera singer Kate Smith who periodically paraded through the crowds.
Recycling bins were stuffed, and the sunny weather, despite sporadic gusts of mighty wind, cooperated.
Silly Market organizers reported later that an estimated 2,500 made the trip to the first weekly Sunday event between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and that the beer garden sold more than 400 cups of beers.
Emily Wenham, a purveyor of the hand-made Sophia Leonie healing stone jewelry, pointed to surrounding booths that had sold most of their goods before the afternoon.
"I used to live in Park City and worked as a groomer at Park City Mountain Resort," she said. "I love being back up here in the summer the market’s amazing."
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Hell’s Backbone Grill made a five-hour journey and an overnight stay to present their specialty organic produce and tumbleweed cheddar scones at last week’s Silly Market. The grill’s owners are also farmers who traveled from the 180-resident town of Boulder, Utah.
"We came in yesterday and got up at 5:15 this morning," said Blake Spalding, co-owner of the grill. "We feel like there’s a lot of support for what we do in Park City, which is sustainability and organic foods."
Her brother, Nathanael Spalding, oversees the crops on their family’s organic farm.
"I’m really impressed really come together and there seems to be an outpouring of support and a lot of variety," he said.
The Spaldings said that they plan to return this weekend, but after that, they will not return to Park City until August, when they will be able to offer tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and squash.
Silly Market Program Director Jewels Harrison said she knew from observing the steady stream of people on the street and from the comments she received, that the market had been a success.
"Four people have already come up to me to say they’ve seen more friends today then they’ve seen in the past year," she said last Sunday at noon. "And that was my intention for the market: to create a community."
But for those who went last week, there will be new faces and new vendors to see, assured Silly Market Executive Director Kimberly Kuehn. Part of the design of the open-air market is that each week it changes, with new artisans, a new featured chef and new lessons in sustainability. "So if you see something you like this week, buy it," Kuehn said.
Park Silly Market this weekend
This weekend’s theme: Summer solstice
Events: Featured chef, Chez Betty’s Kevin Smith will demonstrate on the Main Stage at 11 a.m.; African Drummers and Coral Serpent Belly Dancers will perform on Main Street from noon to 1 p.m.; Matt Fry Band will play from 1 to 3 p.m.; Family entertainment will include hoola hooping, Zack the Clown, Zanstar (the juggling clown) and Magic Mirror Face Painting
Featured nonprofits: Save Our Canyons, Park City Snowboard Team, Park City Ambassadors, Recycle Utah
Where and when: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Heber Avenue and 9th Street on Main Street For more information and to volunteer: visit http://www.parksillysundaymarket.com or call (435) 655-0994.