Park City readies the 2021 event calendar, recommending ‘scaled versions’ to combat coronavirus |

Park City readies the 2021 event calendar, recommending ‘scaled versions’ to combat coronavirus

The Park Silly Sunday Market is a popular event held in the summer and early fall. Organizers plan a return in 2021 after a cancellation last year. Park City leaders are scheduled to hold a discussion about the special event calendar at a meeting on Thursday.
Park Record file photo

Park City’s special-event calendar is expected to return in 2021 after the numerous cancellations last year in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

But City Hall says the events that will unfold later in 2021 may not be as large as those held the year before the sickness.

Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council on Thursday are scheduled to receive an update from staffers regarding plans for the special event calendar this year. The elected officials are not slated to make decisions regarding individual events, but the discussion will likely provide an indication of their thinking in the months before the summer-tourism season starts in earnest in June.

A City Hall report drafted by Jenny Diersen, the economic development program manager, in anticipation of the meeting notes the possibility of the continued impact of the sickness on events this year.

“Staff is currently recommending event applicants plan for scaled versions of their events compared to 2019,” the report says.

The report also says event organizers understand that a state health order and Summit County “requirements may change, necessitating additional restrictions, or even event cancellation.”

Diersen, meanwhile, acknowledges that “there remains a great deal of uncertainty” even as “vaccines are on the horizon.”

The details of the so-called “scaled versions” of events are not known. The size of the events, including the number of people allowed on the grounds at any one time, will likely be determined as individual events approach. The decisions will be expected to be made after discussions among event organizers, City Hall officials and health officials at the County Courthouse. The state of the spread of the coronavirus in the period before any individual event will likely drive the decisions. The details will be important, though, as organizers finalize event footprints, budgets and staffing levels.

The summer and fall are important seasons for special events, with a series of cultural and athletic gatherings typically scheduled. The events have long been seen as lifting the economy in the summer and fall, but there have been recent questions about their importance to the economy after a stretch of solid months in 2020 even after numerous event cancellations that year. The cancellations in 2020 included large events like the Park Silly Sunday Market, the Tour of Utah bicycling race and the Park City Kimball Arts Festival as well as a series of smaller ones.

The discussion scheduled on Thursday is expected to be one in a series by the elected officials in the spring and possibly into the summer regarding events. Organizers of individual events will likely appear before the City Council at various points as they discuss the details of their plans and seek the necessary approvals.

The Silly Market is scheduled to open the season on June 6, putting it early on the summer-tourism calendar and meaning that decisions regarding the event are likely approaching quickly. It seems that some of the steps designed to combat the sickness that will be negotiated between City Hall and the Silly Market for 2021 could provide a template of sorts for other events that will approach officials later.

The City Council discussion about special events is scheduled to start at 5:15 p.m. and last 45 minutes. A public hearing is not scheduled, but the mayor oftentimes allows input during meetings when a formal hearing is not on the agenda.

The meeting will be held virtually as City Hall continues measures meant to curb the spread of the sickness. More information is available on the City Hall website,

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