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Fourth of July Logistics, Arts and Culture Summer Programming In Front of Park City Council Thursday

Monika Guendner / KPCW

Thursday’s Park City Council meeting will feature a final update on the city’s Fourth of July Plans and consideration of summer programs at the site of the proposed arts and culture district.


Due to lingering concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, city council in Park City first voiced their apprehension at hosting a Fourth of July parade the weekend of the 4th in early May. The council ultimately decided on a Friday, July 2nd parade.


The council will receive a final schedule of holiday celebrations from city staff on Thursday.


The decision to move the parade from the traditional date ruffled more than a few feathers. City Economic Development Program Manager Jenny Diersen said the city received an “extraordinary amount of feedback” on the topic, with some even calling the city unpatriotic.


Although Park City has traditionally held its parade on the 4th, many communities along the Wasatch Front moved their holiday celebrations this year too.


In addition to continued COVID-19 worries, the city was also looking to make the parade more of a local event, said City Manager Matt Dias.   


“I know that COVID and the safety protocols were at the forefront at the time when we were trying to make these decisions,” Dias said. “But there was also this aspect of trying to have a local parade and a local celebration and there is a contingent out there that suggests that if we find more creative ways to perhaps draw less traffic from Salt Lake and surrounding communities that we can have an event that’s perhaps less intense, less impactful on our infrastructure, causes less traffic and congestion, and you see more of your neighbors and the people that you recognize on a day-to-day basis. Saying that, I realize that we’re part of a larger ecosystem and there’s only so much that we can do, but I think what we’re being asked by the public is to try some things, so we’ll have to see how this year goes.”


Holiday activities this year include the parade on Friday, July 2nd, a 10am Air Force Flyover on Saturday the 3rd, and a volleyball tournament and traditional police memorial service on Sunday the 4th. Fireworks have been cancelled due to ongoing drought conditions.


Council will also consider approving temporary summer programming at the site of the proposed arts and culture district.


The council held a study session on the topic last week and decided to consider formally approving events like music and food trucks at the site while the fate of the district is still being discussed.


Dias said with demolition of the property nearly complete, low-impact events could be a good use of the space this summer.


“Council took a step back, they heard from the community, they heard from staff and others and I think their desire was for some light activation in this area,” he said. “They are getting close to finishing with sort of the material aspects of the deconstruction. As you can tell when you’re driving by the site, there will be some areas that will be inaccessible. There are just some areas that will be inaccessible because of the demolition, but there are other areas where we left the grass in, we left the sod in, we left the trees there, and we left the asphalt in place, so those areas that over the remaining summer and fall that we could potentially activate.” 


If approved, programming would run from August to October. Budget for the project is set at $150,000.


Also on the agenda is the approval of a supplemental plan for the 2021 Kimball Arts Festival.


Thursday’s city council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00pm. The full agenda and details on how to participate can be found here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.