Park City Rotary Club Will Host a Virtual Miners' Day Running of the Balls
Even though the majority of this year’s Miners’ Day celebrations have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Park City Rotary Club is getting creative and making some of the usual festivities virtual.
The annual running of the balls down Park City’s Main Street has been one of the highlights of the city’s Miners’ Day celebrations for years. Hundreds of people usually line the street as 10,000 balls are let loose to careen down the road, all in an effort to raise money for local non-profits.
Tom Kelly of the Park City Rotary Club says the running of the balls has become one of the main attractions for the holiday over the years and the rotary club felt the event was simply too important to lose entirely to the pandemic.
This year’s running of the balls will be held virtually and broadcast on Park City TV and the Park City Rotary Club’s Facebook and YouTube page at 10:30am on Miners’ Day morning, September 7th. A virtual 5K race will also take place.
“This was really important to us at the Park City Rotary Club,” Kelly explained. “The festivities and all the celebrations have a lot of heritage but the running of the balls is something very, very vital to our local community. We normally raise $30-$40,000 from this event, which goes directly back to non-profits. We were kind of thinking, ‘how can we still do this and raise this money for the local non-profits and we think we have a good plan.”
Kelly says only 300 balls will be for sale this year as opposed to the usual 10,000. Balls cost $100 each and are available for purchase on the Park City Miners’ Day website. Kelly says sales are looking good and are expected to sell out by this weekend, raising $30,000.
Of the 300 balls in this year’s race, only five will win prize packages that include a vacation package to Las Vegas and various ski and golf prizes.
In order to provide a COVID-19 safe running of the balls this year, Kelly says the running was actually filmed last weekend in the early morning hours before most people were awake. He said although it was a different experience with no crowds, the running of the balls still got his blood pumping.
“I have to say, it was really fun to do that,” he said. “We were able to actually test the track and run the balls a few times because there really was nobody around, it was early morning hours and a few passers-by came up and wondered what was going on but we miss having the throngs of people on Main Street. Hopefully we’ll be back next year in 2021 with the 126th edition of Miners’ Day.”
Although the running has already taken place and the winning balls are known, Kelly says no balls have been assigned yet and will be done in a random and fair way once the fundraiser is complete.
Kelly says the Rotary Club’s annual grants from the fundraising will be handed out sometime this fall.
For more information about the 2020 Miners’ Day celebration or to purchase your ball for the running of the balls, visit parkcityminersday.org.