Labor Day is Funky Monday in Park City.
The word raises eyebrows, conjures images of disco and inspires thoughts of Austin Powers chasing Doctor Evil in "funky" leisure suits.
Speaking of leisure suits, some of Park City’s prominent citizens may be seen wearing polyester casual wear during Monday’s Funky Old Miners Day.
"We are charging all politicians $50 to get in and they have to dress funky to get in the parade," said Flint Decker, the chairperson for the event.
The event is free for all other locals.
"Roger Harlan started the trend last year," Decker said. "He wore a leisure suit and stood all day in hot sun. People didn’t want it to be a politician parade and they wanted them to show humility. We do this so they all don’t take it too seriously."
A new addition this year is the 5K race.
"That’s a very cool event," Decker said. "They start during the pancake breakfast, go around the park twice, up Poison Creek onto Swede and come down from Main Street."
After the race, the popular Running of the Balls, sponsored by The Park Record will take place on Main Street. The event will benefit the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Parkites can adopt a ball for $5 or five for $20. There will be special ramps donated by the Park City Municipal works, according to Decker, that will be set up in front of the post office.
"It will allow 2,000 tennis balls to flood Main Street," Decker said.
Kids from Park City High school, Interact Club, and the Rotary Club, all dress in white, will line the course and race with the balls. The first one down the hill will win a free round trip ticket from Delta Airlines, Decker said.
One of the big changes to this year’s event is the Mucking and Drilling Competition. The contest has moved to Library Field adjacent to 13th street.
"We had to find a new location and it turned out to be a good opportunity," said Will Pratt, the chair person for the competition. "There will be more room for spectators a better layout for competition. We are hoping that this site will be a permanent place for competition. We are going to have our own vendors there with a beer tent; there will be a self-contained unit over there."
The drilling competition will have drillers racing to drill to a certain depth in concrete the fastes. Sections of marked concrete have been curing since early this summer to prepare for this.
"It’s a contest of drilling into a set number of blocks," Pratt said.
The mucking competition will showcase the other side of the skill of miners. Muckers will race to fill ore carts. The series of events will be part judged and timed, according to Pratt.
The Park City Miners Day celebration is rich with history.
"This has been going for 109 years," Decker said. Originally, he said there were two different parades, one for Labor Day and one for Miners Day. "They eventually combined the Labor Day and Union parade."
Decker said they shifted to the funky movement a year ago in remembrance of the past.
"In the past, the parades were even funky way back then," Decker said. The floats were going up instead of down Main Street."
Naming it "Funky" was an idea to make the event a Parkite event.
"The Miners Day event has been renamed to funky," Decker said, "the focus is to take it back to Park City locals, its their day, their celebration.
"It was truly for the locals and we wanted to bring it back to that spirit."
Decker continued to emphasize the value of molding Miners Day around Park City locals.
"Our goal is to have Parkites come out and enjoy the day," Decker said. "It’s meant to be very casual and a fun day. It’s truly for the locals. It’s much more intimate and a real celebration of the end of summer. It’s the last hurrah in the park until we start looking at white stuff on the top of the mountains."
The historic Park City Museum members will be dressed in costumes dating back to the early 1900s.
"They will be greeting people right on the street. We are opening the museum in time to do a meet greet. People can actually go in the parade and see the Silver Queen," Decker said.
Decker said there will be a combination of over 120 volunteers that will help put on this event. This event, he said is perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about the culture here.
"If you’re new to town it is by far a must-attend event," Decker said. "There’s no other production that shows you the actual working history of how they used to mine, the actual miners and teaching what the history was here. Anyone that’s new to Park City will learn over 109 years of real history."
Miners Day Events:
*The Pancake Breakfast, hosted by Saint Mary’s Catholic Church will start at 7 a.m. at City Park.
*The Funky 5K Fun Run, to benefit the Youth Winter Sports Alliance will start at 9 a.m. at City Park.
*The preview of the new Park City Museum will take place at 10 a.m. at 528 Main St.
*The Running of the Balls, sponsored by The Park Record, which benefits the Huntsman Cancer Institute will take place on Main Street at 10:45 a.m.
*The Funky Old Miners Day Parade, which includes a flyover of a vintage U.S.A.F. Stearman, will begin at 11 a.m. on the bottom of Main Street.
*Kid’s games and kite making in the park with music by the Motherlode Canyon Band will take place at 12:30 p.m. in City Park.
*The mucking and drilling competition, sponsored by Talisker, will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Library Field.
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