Main Street will be Silly again in 2013
Park City leaders and the organizers of the Park Silly Sunday Market finalized an agreement Thursday night ensuring the event is held on Main Street in 2013, promising at the same time to engage in more talks in an effort to reach a long-term accord.
The agreement for 2013 is seen as a stopgap measure after the two sides were unable to negotiate a multiyear deal in the fall and early winter. The Park City Council on Thursday night cast a 5-0 vote in favor of the agreement covering 2013.
The setup of the Silly Market in 2013 will be similar to that of 2012. It will be based on lower Main Street while some of the activities will stretch south of the Heber Avenue intersection.
The two sides, meanwhile, agreed to form a working group meant to soothe relations between the Silly Market and Main Street. The working group will consist of two elected officials, two Silly Market representatives and two members of the Historic Park City Alliance, which represents the interests of businesses on or close to Main Street.
Mayor Dana Williams and City Councilman Alex Butwinski will represent City Hall. A Silly Market attorney, Charlie Johnson, and the organization’s operations manager, Kate Boyd, will serve on the working group. The Historic Park City Alliance has assigned its president, Maren Mullin, and executive director Alison Butz to the working group.
Issues that the working group will consider include the mix of the Silly Market vendors.
City Councilwoman Liza Simpson praised that part of the working group’s assignment in her comments before the vote. An attorney for the Silly Market, Charlie Johnson, said the people involved in the working group must be reasonable.
Kimberly Kuehn, the executive director of the Silly Market and one of its founders, told the elected officials she was pleased the working group was formed. She said she wants the Silly Market to remain on Main Street. There were times in the past, including earlier this year, when it seemed the Silly Market could relocate.
"Our goal is really to stay on Main Street and tweak and work together," Kuehn said.
Alison Butz, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, spoke briefly to Williams and the City Council, saying the organization supports the one-year agreement and the formation of the working group.
The sides agreed to two other key points. One leaves open the possibility of expanding the farmers market onto parts of the parking lots on Swede Alley or into the Brew Pub lot on upper Main Street, while keeping the farmers market outside the Main Street post office intact. The other requires City Hall to notify the Silly Market organizers by April 1 whether the Tour of Utah bicycle races will impact the setup of the Silly Market.
City Hall will cut its direct financial support to the Silly Market from $80,000 to $65,000 based on the event’s growth.
The Silly Market, created in 2007, runs on Sundays in the summer and early fall. It features an eclectic lineup of merchandise vendors, food purveyors and entertainers. It draws large crowds to its base on lower Main Street and has attempted to attract the people up Main Street with the farmers market and other offerings.
City Hall and the Silly Market had operated with a three-year contract covering 2010, 2011 and 2012. The contract had two option periods of two years apiece. The two sides did not exercise the first option and instead agreed to the one-year accord approved on Thursday.
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