Park City mayor expresses support for decision to cancel Silly Market |

Park City mayor expresses support for decision to cancel Silly Market

The Park Silly Sunday Market draws large crowds to Main Street in the summer and early fall.
Park Record file photo

The cancellation of the Park Silly Sunday Market for 2020 continues to draw attention as the Park City community lingers on what was a dramatic move by the organizers to opt against holding the event this year.

Mayor Andy Beerman during a recent City Hall-hosted online event addressed the cancellation of the Silly Market. He spoke in response to a question during one in a series of online events designed to provide Parkites with regular updates about the community response to the spread of the novel coronavirus. He told the event audience he backed the decision by the Silly Market organizers to cancel in 2020, explaining that there could be some sort of restrictions remaining in the summer.

“I believe that the social distancing will continue through the summer, and so they found it daunting and not economically feasible to move forward. So, it was ultimately their decision, but I am supportive of that decision,” Beerman said. “And I hope we’re able to bring the Silly Market back next summer, but unfortunately this summer we’re not going to see them.”

Another elected official who participated in the online event, Park City Councilor Max Doilney, explained that there are restrictions on groups of more than 50 people and said a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is needed before there is a return to normalcy. The Silly Market draws thousands of people, and Doilney said the restriction on the size of crowds is crucial as organizers consider whether to hold events this year. He noted the restriction as it relates to the Silly Market.

Charlie Sturgis, who is the executive director of Mountain Trails Foundation, joined the elected officials as one of the speakers at the online event. He explained there are up-front costs to events as well as a “big planning curve.”

“Those organizers that had to pull the plug, I know they didn’t do it without really having to know that they really had to do it. Hat’s off to pulling the plug and sucking it up, for taking one for the community,” Sturgis said.

The speakers did not hold a detailed discussion of the Silly Market, but the comments illustrate interest remains in the decision by the organizers even amid other coronavirus-related topics like the reopening of businesses after an extended shutdown and the fiscal impacts on government entities like City Hall. There appears to be questions remaining about the decision to cancel the entire Silly Market run rather than the just the earliest dates.

The Silly Market runs in the summer and early fall on Main Street, drawing large crowds for an eclectic mix of artists, craftspeople, food purveyors and performers. The Silly Market draws upward of 13,000 people each Sunday, with an attendance of more than 187,000 during the 2019 season. The Silly Market opening date had been scheduled June 7.

The cancellation of the Silly Market appeared to hit the community even more deeply than the decision to cancel the Tour of Utah bicycling race this summer. The Tour of Utah typically draws one of the largest one-day crowds of the year.

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