Park City readies a July 2 celebration of the Fourth of July
Parade would be shifted in effort to reduce size of the crowd
Park City plans to celebrate the Fourth of July on July 2 this year, opting for a revolutionary concept that is designed to scale back what is normally one of the busiest days of the year in the community.
Leaders remain concerned about the spread of the novel coronavirus and are worried about Park City hosting large crowds on Independence Day. Park City usually is one of the popular places in the state to celebrate the holiday, with daylong activities starting with a parade and ending with fireworks.
It has appeared in recent weeks that Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council would endorse some sort of celebration a year after many of the traditional July 4 activities were canceled in 2020 out of concern of the coronavirus.
The elected officials on Thursday signaled support for moving the parade to July 2, the Friday before the Fourth of July on Sunday. They also supported shifting the fireworks display to July 3, the same day as the display at Canyons Village. Officials expect the crowds will be dispersed between the two fireworks displays under the altered schedule instead of each one attracting a large crowd.
The idea of holding a parade is especially notable since the traditional one usually draws crowds several people deep lining the route between Main Street and City Park. Although outside, there could be lingering concerns by the time of Independence Day that a crowded parade route could lead to further coronavirus spread. City Councilor Becca Gerber, as an example, said children attend the Independence Day parade and will not be vaccinated by then.
There were other comments from the City Council regarding the shift in the date of the parade. City Councilor Tim Henney said a parade on July 2 would limit the number of people attending, saying one on the holiday itself would be “too big, too many people.” Max Doilney, another member of the City Council, said the only day he would consider for a parade would be July 2. City Councilor Steve Joyce did not want the event promoted in the Salt Lake Valley, usually a target for the tourism industry.
The elected officials wanted staffers to consider ideas for the Independence Day celebration this year that would be especially attractive to a local crowd. They did not have a detailed discussion about that point, though. Staffers plan to return to the City Council for an approval of the July 4 concept shortly.
City Hall, as a key element of the plans for July 4, is considering a pedestrian day on Main Street on the holiday. The Park Silly Sunday Market is planned on lower Main Street on July 4 and there is talk of turning the rest of the street into a pedestrian zone that day. The discussions about pedestrian days on Main Street are expected later with a program that was introduced in 2020 as part of the economic recovery likely a model for the upcoming talks.
The discussion on Thursday highlighted the difficulties of decisions about the summer-tourism season even as vaccinations continue and coronavirus case numbers drop from the high levels during the winter. Even with the positive trends, there is hesitancy about a return of the summer-tourism season to some semblance of normalcy.
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Park City officials on Tuesday are scheduled to reconfigure a key stretch of road in Old Town. The alteration involves the section of Park Avenue between the 9th Street and Deer Valley Drive intersections.