Park City prepares to light fuse on 4th of July contract | ParkRecord.com

Park City prepares to light fuse on 4th of July contract

City Hall receives seven proposals from firms seeking deal

by Jay Hamburger
THE PARK RECORD

The Park City Fire District is a traditional participant during the 4th of July parade in Park City, shown in 2016. City Hall is preparing to hire an event organizer that will be heavily involved in planning the Independence Day festivities in 2017. The municipal government received six proposals and is expected to award a contract on April 27.

City Hall received six proposals from event planners wanting to organize the Independence Day festivities in Park City this summer and intends to light the fuse on a contract shortly.

The proposals were due on Monday. Officials did not release information about the proposals, but the names of the people or firms as well as some of the details of the submittals are expected to be made public early next week.

City Hall staffers anticipate presenting the bids to the Park City Council at a meeting on April 27. The elected officials are expected to consider a contract at the meeting on April 27. Details of the bids will likely be made public in the days before the meeting. The timeline leaves just a little more than two months between the anticipated date of the contract approval and the 4th of July.

The Park City Ambassadors, a now-defunct organization that operated under the umbrella of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, traditionally organized the 4th of July celebration alongside City Hall. The lack of an organization to lead the efforts like the Park City Ambassadors prompted City Hall to seek proposals to plan the celebration. The municipal government has up to $20,000 available for the hiring. The contract covers the 2017 event only.

Some Park City leaders have also expressed concern with the flavor of the 4th of July celebration as more corporate interests have taken part in a centerpiece parade on Main Street.

Meisha Lawson Marketing Services, based in the Park City area, is one of the local firms that submitted a proposal. Meisha Lawson has broad experience in event organizing in Park City, including the Autumn Aloft hot-air balloon festival, the Halloween festivities on Main Street and an electric parade on Main Street during the holidays. Lawson once worked for Park City Mountain Resort organizing skiing and snowboarding competitions.

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"It would be an honor to be a part of the event . . . It's an important event for our community," Lawson, who lives in Prospector and has lived in Park City since 2007, said about the 4th of July celebration.

Lawson anticipates a "seamless transition" if her firm is awarded the contract, saying she has attended the 4th of July festivities for years and, while a PCMR staffer, assisted with organizing the fireworks display on the 4th of July.

City Hall has posted a document summarizing an early April meeting between staffers and firms that were considering submitting a proposal. The staffers covered a range of issues during the meeting as firms asked a series of questions. Some of the inquiries dealt with insider event-planning issues while others were wider in nature as the firms asked about the event itself.

One of the questions centered on the possibility of corporate sponsorships for the 4th of July festivities. City Hall answered by explaining that sponsorship strategies "include keeping the event local and representative of our community."

"Sponsorship opportunities may be possible, but we would want to keep them to local Summit County organizations," the response says.

Some of the firms wanted to learn about budget matters, vendor setups, marketing efforts and whether entertainment could be stretched to Main Street from City Park.

"While our focus is on City Park activities, there are entertainment possibilities on Main Street and during the parade," the City Hall response says.

The municipal government also acknowledged the budget for the festivities tops $100,000, not including the up to $20,000 available for the contract.

The 4th of July festivities – the parade, City Park activities and the fireworks – draw upward of 37,000 to Park City. It is one of the largest single-day attractions of the year as crowds line Main Street for the parade before heading to City Park and then to a variety of locations to watch the fireworks.