Silly Market opinions: ‘Please keep park silly!’ or ‘Why is it still here?’

Comments collected by Park City nearly a year ago highlight the long-running split in community

The Park Silly Sunday Market, shown in 2017, draws crowds to lower Main Street, but there has long been concern about the event’s impact on sales on the upper section of the street. Park City continues to discuss the future of a market in the community.
Park Record file photo by Tanzi Propst

It was clear months ago the discussion about the future of the Park Silly Sunday Market would be a difficult one.

Main Street’s brick-and-mortar businesses have long held concerns about the Silly Market siphoning crowds to the lower stretch of the street on Sundays, cutting into sales elsewhere on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip. The Silly Market itself has worried about the possibility of City Hall imposing restrictions on organizers in future years that could diminish the event. And Parkites have seemed split about the Silly Market.

Park City leaders on Tuesday evening were scheduled to address the future of a market in the community, but not necessarily the Silly Market. City Hall and the Silly Market are reaching the end of a one-year agreement that covers the 2023 event, and there is the possibility the Silly Market will not return to Main Street in 2024. The discussion that was scheduled on Tuesday was centered on what was ambiguously referred to as a future market.

The Silly Market offers an eclectic lineup of artists, craftspeople, food purveyors and performers on Sundays in the summer and fall. It is based on lower Main Street with certain activities uphill from the Heber Avenue intersection. The event draws crowds of people from the Park City area, the Wasatch Front and outside of Utah.

There has been extensive input over the past year regarding the Silly Market, as it appeared there was the possibility of significant changes to the operations and then the prospects of the end of the Main Street locale for the event. There have been surveys, testimony at City Hall and widespread community chatter.

One set of comments, nearly a year old and collected by City Hall, provides a snapshot of the wide-ranging opinions about the Silly Market that seem to still exist today. The municipal government, through its Engage Park City online idea-sharing space, received input in September 2022 that highlighted some of the issues that had been key in the discussions with the Silly Market. The comments were generally anonymous or seemed to only carry partial names.

Some of the comments included:

• “Park City has always represented the propulsion of local artists and tastemakers, why would we decide to jeopardize this legacy?”

• “Keep park silly going for local artists & tourism!!”

• “Why is it still here? Park Silly Sundy NEEDS TO GO!”

• “Please keep park silly!”

• “why is there a problem?”

• “Could the market move to a different day and time? For example, Tuesday evenings?”

• “As a local Park silly is an incredible way to support people in the community and meet them as well. I love it and believe it brings a sense of joy to . . . town. Please please please do not infringe on it’s ability to bring happiness to so many.”

• “I think I speak on behalf of many Upper Main businesses when I say that I would like to either see Park Silly move off of Main Street entirely, or at least incorporate Upper Main more effectively.”


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