The Park Record Editorial, June 12, 2010
The Park Silly Sunday Market is finally being allowed to extend its tendrils toward upper Main Street, which should bring more foot traffic to all of the merchants.
When the Silly Market first opened on lower Main Street in 2007, there was immediate concern about its impact on the year-round businesses located outside the rollicking boundaries of the instantly popular street festival.
In an editorial at the beginning of the Silly Market’s first season, we noted the difference between the empty sidewalks at the top of the street and the noisy throngs at the Silly Market. We suggested that part of the problem was that full-time business owners in Old Town were held to a different standard than the once-a-week seasonal merchants who popped up at the Silly Market.
"Unfortunately, Main Street year-round business owners outside the fun boundary are still constrained by a tome of ordinances. No merchandise on the sidewalk, no temporary banners, no neon signs, no hawkers," we wrote, arguing that, to be fair, the city should relax the rules for sidewalk displays and signage for everyone on Main Street during the festival hours.
It has taken a few years, but after a series of tough negotiations this spring we are hoping that, this summer, there will be less of a difference in activity levels between upper and lower Main Street on Sunday afternoons.
As part of a multiyear deal that will allow the event to remain on Main Street, Silly Market organizers will expand activities above Heber Avenue. Brick-and-mortar merchants, too, are being encouraged to loosen up a bit during the market hours and will be allowed to hang banners and display merchandise on the sidewalk in front of their establishments.
The Silly Market has been a great addition to Park City’s summer offerings but there have been legitimate concerns that it has siphoned some of the foot traffic away from established businesses on Main Street. The new plan should help alleviate some those concerns, and we applaud the city and the Silly Market organizers for moving in that direction.
It shouldn’t have taken four years, but we are happy to see the changes and hope the Main Street merchants will take full advantage of the new opportunity to participate in the energy established by the creative minds behind the Park Silly Sunday Market.
“Even the dogs were celebrating the reemergence of the sun.”