Volunteers are vital for July 4 activities
Park City takes pride in its Fourth of July celebration with its Main Street parade and all the family activities, food and concerts in City Park.
And no one know just how much work goes into planning and pulling of the event than the Park City Ambassadors, the city’s group of volunteers, said Angela Laros, who has been a member of the organization since 2001.
"Some people don’t realize how much is going on behind the scenes," Laros said in an interview. "We start planning the event in January and have to make sure we get all of our event permits and all the food and drink and beer licenses. Without the volunteers, Park City wouldn’t have a Fourth of July celebration."
This year, the Park City Ambassadors need volunteers more than ever.
"In the past we have had more than 100 volunteers helping with the Fourth of July celebration, but this year, we’re struggling a bit because Park City and the surrounding areas have beefed up their holiday programs," Laros said.
Many volunteers are needed to help with the parade, she said.
"Each year the crowd who come see the parade gets larger, which we love, but it’s a job to keep kids out of the street while it’s going on," Laros said. "The volunteers are also there to stop people from throwing things at the floats and entries and to make sure the people on the entries don’t throw things at the crowd.
"We like to have people walking alongside the entries and have others on the sides of the street watching and make sure nothing dangerous is happening," she said. "We want to keep our safety record clean."
Volunteers are also needed before the parade starts.
"We need volunteers to help the parade participants get their places," Laros explained. "The parade begins at 11 o’clock, but participants will begin arriving around nine, so volunteers need to be there around eight o’clock in the morning."
The parade will feature more than 80 entries this year, so it will be a chore to get everyone in place.
"We need people to help keep the entries in line and getting them where they need to be in an orderly fashion," Laros said. "Each entry is given a time as to when they should come and line up. That’s a big job to make sure everything is in order. We need 10 to 15 people to help with that."
Other volunteers are needed in City Park.
"We have three Coca Cola trailers that start serving at 10 o’clock and two beer trailers that start service at 11 o’clock," she said. "The trailers will be serving until four o’clock and we need people to help sell and make sure the supplies are fully stocked."
Each shift is three hours long, but Laros said any help would be great.
"We will take any amount of time people can give us," she said. "We just need to have enough people on staff to help."
While teens and adults are allowed to help with the soda, only adults who are TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certified can help at the beer trailers.
"Also, when people want to buy beer, they will be carded," Laros said. "I don’t care if a person is 80 years old or the mayor of Park City, everyone will have to show their ID and if they are old enough to buy beer, they will get a wristband."
Other City Park volunteer opportunities include maintaining the park throughout the event. (See story titled "Fourth of July in Park City" for schedule)
"They can walk around and pick up trash and make sure things are clean and working," Laros said. "They also come early to set up the park and then they take down the park at the end of the day.
For their help, volunteers will receive free T-shirts, a lunch and the adults will get a beer ticket.
"It’s amazing to see the community coming together, and it’s also a lot of fun getting involved with the community," Laros said.
Anyone interested in volunteering for Park City’s Fourth of July celebration should call volunteer coordinator Kandi Kutkas at (801) 472-2675 or email email@example.com .
The Park City July 4 will begin at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast in City Park and continue with races, games, activities and food and an Air Force Flyover. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Historic Main Street. Lunch will be served by Sunrise Rotary at City Park and live music will begin noon. The day will end with fireworks at Park City Mountain Resort. For more information, visit http://www.visitparkcity.com/events.