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Costumes, splashes and ‘full smiles’ highlight weekend of spring-ski celebrations

pond skim 2022
Sarah Ervin
/
KPCW
People gather at the base of Park City Mountain Resort's Eagle lift Saturday for the pond skim.

Skiers and riders wore costumes and bright colors to Park City Mountain Resort this weekend for spring festivities. After Clown Day got the month of April started Friday, the return of the pond skim kept the fun going Saturday.

What do robots, Superwoman, cross-dressers and Hawaiian shirts have in common? All of those and more skimmed across the pond at the base of Park City Mountain Resort’s Eagle lift Saturday afternoon.

In total, 72 competitors took to the slopes for PCMR’s first pond skimming event since 2018. Hundreds of spectators and a DJ also gathered around the pond to enjoy the spectacle.

With a long pond to get across and a short run-in, only a small handful of competitors made it all the way across. Most ended up swimming in the 45-degree water but were promptly pulled out by the Park City Fire District’s cold-water rescue crew.

Spectators especially enjoyed a few of the skimmers’ well-timed faceplants and belly flops.

Skimmers were judged in four categories: Splash, style, costume, and overall. The winners in each category were awarded inflatable trophies and gift cards.

The previous day, the resort was bustling from open to close with more costumes - bananas, a unicorn and Santa Claus among hundreds of others.

Clown Day, also known as Gaper Day, is a tradition wherein people dress up in costume on April 1 at the resort. It dates back to the 1970s, according to the Park City Museum.

“Oh, we’re having a great day today,” local skier John Robbins said. “We’re out here in Park City - we’re partying, we know how to do it. We show up early, we tailgate, and we have a good smile, full smiles. You see them all over the place - left, right and center, on my own face even.”

Clown Day brought another crowd of hundreds around a jump in a tree clearing. There, many of those who came in costumes - including Spider-Man and a tandem pair dressed as Buzz Lightyears - took turns jumping, sometimes throwing flips and spins, and often crashing in slushy snow.

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Ben Lasseter
/
KPCW
Skiers and riders in costumes and colorful outfits gather in a tree clearing at Park City Mountain on Friday, or "Clown Day."

An hour after lifts closed Friday, Park City Main Street was buzzing with a huge crowd of sports fans celebrating and spectating at the Youth Sports Alliance 2022 Olympians and Paralympians Parade.

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