Park City uncovers its history with 2018 Miners Day
The 121st annual Park City Miners Day celebration will run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, in Park City. For information, visit http://www.parkcityminersday.org.
There is no Labor Day in Park City.
Here, Sept. 3 is recognized as Miners Day, an all-day festival meant to celebrate the town’s mining history, said Nancy Dalaska, the event’s chairwoman.
“It’s truly a local party,” Dalaska said. “When you think about it, we’ve been doing Miners Day for six generations.”
Miners Day started as Miners Union Day in 1898 as a way to honor and get the miners out of the for a day off, Dalaska said.
“During the 1940s, Miners Union Day was combined with Labor Day, and has remained that way ever since,” she said.
This year’s festivities start at 7:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast provided by St. Mary’s Catholic Church and continue with an annual 5K run.
“In true Park City tradition, runners are encouraged to bring their dogs,” Dalaska said. “We had a great turnout last year.”
Runners can register for the 5K in advance by visiting parkcityminersday.org/miners-day-5k-run, or they can register the day of the run.
Miners Day is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Park City Rotary Club, and its most lucrative event is with the annual Running of the Balls, which is set to take place at 10:45 a.m. on Main Street, according to Dalaska.
In the event, which involves fewer raging bulls than its namesake in Pamplona spectators watch as thousands of yellow golf balls are let loose in a contained track down Main Street.
“We are looking to release 10,000 balls this year,” Dalaska said.
Attendees can buy a single ball for $5 or five for $20 from a Park City Rotary Club member, she said.
Park City Rotary will also be set up at the Park Silly Sunday Market on Sept. 2, so people can buy balls there, as well, Dalaska said.
“We never know how many balls we will sell, because people can purchase them anytime between now and on Miners Day,” she said.
The money from ball purchases go directly into grants that are given out to local nonprofits.
“Last year, thanks to matching donations, Park City Rotary gave $250,000 in grants to local youth groups,” Dalaska said.
Those organizations were Bright Futures, PC TOTS and the Summit County Children’s Justice Center.
“We give every dime of the proceeds that come from Miners Day to these smaller nonprofits,” Dalaska said.
The event’s centerpiece, the Miners Day parade, will follow the Running of the Balls. The annual parade includes floats from local businesses, the Park City High School Band and also serves as the unofficial beginning of Park City’s elections as candidates for public office present their campaigns.
The party will return to City Park for kids games, live music and food after the parade.
There will be some new attractions this year, said Diane Bernhardt, Miners Day vendor chairwoman.
“The Park City Police Department will give people the opportunity to dunk a cop and benefit the Fraternal Order of Police with a dunking booth,” Bernhardt said. “I hope people will embrace this. Our police are very community minded and are really out in the community. The booth is an indication of that.”
Another addition to the festivities is a mechanical bull.
“What’s nice about these things is that the speed is adjustable,” Bernhardt said. “It’s great because big and little kids can go for a bouncing ride and go buck wild.”
The food offerings will include a barbecue with side dishes, ice cream from Wasatch Creamery and drinks for young and old, according to Bernhardt.
“A new drink we’ll offer is called a Texas Twister, which is made from orange, lemon and lime juice,” she said. “It’s blended, very sweet and icy.”
Mountain Town Music has arranged for two bands — Changing Lanes Experience and Memphis McCool — to play throughout the day, Dalaska said.
Changing Lanes will start playing at 11:45 a.m., and Memphis McCool will start at 2:45 p.m.
Many Miners Day attendees consider the mucking and drilling competition as the highlight of the afternoon. The competition will start at 2 p.m.
During the mucking, competitors use heavy machinery to load broken-up ore, or muck, into a bucket. The competitors then load the muck into a cart and dump it as quickly as possible.
In the drilling competition, participants use large drills and hoses to bore two holes in a 10-ton piece of sandstone as far as they can in the shortest amount of time.
“It’s such a fun thing to watch because it’s so physical,” Dalaska said. “It takes skill and strength to drill.”
The day will end with a skateboard jam, where young boarders perform tricks, which will start at 3 p.m. at the skate park.
“This is the 121st annual Miners Day,” Dalaska said. “It’s wonderful to think that six generations have celebrated this local event.”
As with many Park City events, the Miners Day organizing committee encourages people to use public transportation, bike or walk to the event.
“We will have a free bike valet that will be set up across Park Avenue from the Park City Library,” Dalaska said. “There will be free parking at Park City High School and people can catch the bus right there.”
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