Parkites on parade |

Parkites on parade

Kristina Eastham, Record contributing writer

On Saturday the Park City Medical Center will push "patients" down Main Street on gurneys and in wheelchairs. There’s nothing wrong with them; it’s their way of celebrating Independence Day.

The Park City Medical Center will be participating in Saturday’s parade to show their support for the community.

Amy Roberts, the parade organizer for the Medical Center, said they want "to announce to the community that we are here and we are almost open." She said the employees will celebrate with a medical theme and are "tickled red, white and blue about" being in the parade.

The parade’s theme is celebrating Park City’s 125th anniversary and is part of the city’s Fourth of July celebration. Featuring nearly 80 businesses, participation is completely maxed out.

"The lineup is a combination of entertainment, non-profit, [and] for-profit companies. We’ll have animals in the parade, you know, cars. We’ll have trucks; we’ll have a WWII Jeep. We’ll have some old cars, Model A cars," Joel Fine said. "And then, just a whole variety of floats. It’s just incredible."

Pre-parade entertainment will include balloon twisters and the Jazzy B Stilters. At 11:00 a.m. the parade will start, following a U.S. Air Force flyover. Five to six judges view the parade from the top of Main Street and rate the floats based on categories such as most creative, most original idea, best float from a large business, and best float from a small business. The route continues down Main Street to Park Avenue, finishing just past the entrance to City Park.

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For most float entries, the parade is about supporting the community and sharing their message.

"It’s a community thing," Britte Kirshe, volunteer coordinator at Recycle Utah, said. "And we’re part of the community. The community has been so great to us. It’s our way of saying thank you."

Recycle Utah has partnered with Whole Foods Market this year to spread their environmentally-conscious message about keeping plastic bags out of landfills. Whole Foods Market team members and Recycle Utah employees used the abundance of materials available at the recycle center to build their float this past week. They will also display the recycled sculpture from Soaring Wings Montessori School. The truck that will pull the float will be decorated with plastic bags to spread the message that the Park City location of Whole Foods Market alone has kept over 40,000 plastic bags out of the landfills since the beginning of the year. Taking up the tail end of the parade, they will carry recycle-bin backpacks and collect recyclables from the crowd at the end of the parade.

"Give us your recyclables. Don’t throw them on the street!" Kirsche said.

Participants have all ranges of experience. Squatters Pub and Brewery builds one float each "parade season" and participates in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Pride Parades in Salt Lake in addition to the Park City Fourth of July Parade. They have learned through more than seven years of participating in floats how to make a well-themed and durable float. Their theme this year will celebrate the brewery’s 20th anniversary.

Other participants have less experience in front of the crowd, which is anticipated to be 10,000-12,000 according to Fine.

"I just thought ‘This is so scary,’ walking down the street with thousands of people watching you," Joy Erickson, of United Way of Salt Lake in Summit County, said of her first experience in the parade. "Park City is a very welcoming community. I got over that in about the first 25 feet."

Now in her third year of participating, she is in charge of the float for United Way, which is expecting between 60 and 70 employees, volunteers and corporate partners to support their float’s theme of "Live United." This is a drastic increase from the four or five people they had walking down Main in her first year.

With a variety of messages, both big and small floats will show their community and national support on Saturday.