Amy Roberts: Have we become too event full?
September 8, 2015
My sister came to visit over Labor/Miners Day Weekend. She turns 36 this week, so I treated her to a weekend in Park City for her birthday. Before she got on the flight from Omaha to Salt Lake City, she asked me what I had planned for her stay. She almost didn’t come when I sent her the itinerary, asking: "When am I going to sleep?"
Heather was diagnosed with brain cancer just over seven years ago. At the time of her diagnosis, doctors told us we were looking at another two years, tops, with her. While she continues to beat the odds, we never take birthdays for granted, and every single one seems worthy of a big celebration. That said, the weekend I had planned seemed pretty normal by Park City standards.
Saturday we went up to the Olympic Park for a bit, then swung by the Canyons to congratulate some friends as they cross the finish line of the Point 2 Point mountain bike race. Then we went shopping on Main Street. Heather wanted something new to wear to the Healthy Laughs comedy show benefitting the People’s Health Clinic we had tickets to that night. We splurged and had dinner at The Montage before the show.
Sunday we drove over to Sundance for brunch and marveled at the changing leaves. Then came back and went to the Silly Market for a bit, making it home with just enough time to change before we headed up to Deer Valley for the final concert of the summer, Aloe Blacc. Monday of course was filled with Miners Day activities. As a Rotarian, I had to help with several of the events, so she got a backstage pass of sorts for everything from the pancake breakfast to Running of the Balls, the parade and the events at City Park. Then it was off to a BBQ at a friend’s house before heading to the airport.
Heather will tell you the weekend was too packed for her taste. She enjoys a slower pace, with a lot of time to relax built into her day. Partly, she needs this due to her health, but partly it’s because she doesn’t live here. She lives in a city where there’s a lot of downtime and she’s not used to having places to be and things to do three days in a row. But for me, and probably for most Parkites, the weekend seemed pretty typical. In Park City, there’s always a parade and costumes and galas and themed parties and fundraisers and road closures and special events. That’s how we roll.
I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, our little town became a Manhattan socialite, with a jam-packed calendar and a martini in each hand.
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A former City Council member told me there are over 250 special events in Park City every year. That’s pretty remarkable for a town this size. He made this comment to me as he talked about what he called ‘event fatigue.’ He noted that many of the people he spoke to when he was a councilman complained about all the events in town. They wanted a break from the traffic, the tourists and the go-go-go of living here.
I don’t know what the solution is. It’s not likely we’re going to start canceling events that have become annual staples. And frankly, I’m not sure I want to. I enjoy living in a place where I have to work at being bored.
But even now, as summer winds down, the events calendar doesn’t really seem to. It used to be the shoulder seasons were pretty eventless. But as I look at what’s coming up: Autumn Aloft, the Halloween dog parade, Jan’s Winter Welcome, Live PC/Give PC, marathons, bike races, and a host of other happenings, it makes you wonder: In our quest to become an eventful destination, have we become too event full?
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.