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Schedule Set for 2021 Park City Miner's Day

Park City Rotary

Park City’s Miners Day celebration is still six weeks away on Sept. 6, but Rotary Club members have set their plans to resume the town’s 125-year-old holiday tradition.


Tom Kelly from Rotary told KPCW that the festivities are coming back, after the pandemic last year forced them to cancel Miner’s Day festivities, or at best, hold them virtually.


Miner’s Day kicks off with the usual events such as breakfast at City Park, the Bark City 5K Run and a parade with costumes and floats.


A major highlight is Rotary’s annual Running of the Balls, where organizers release thousands of balls from the top of Main Street before cheering throngs. Beforehand, patrons can pay to sponsor one ball, or many, and if their ball is one of the top finishers at the bottom of the street, they’re eligible for prizes.


Kelly said last year they held a virtual version of the Running. It’s one of their most important fundraisers.


“This is where we raise our money for our nonprofits in the community,” he said. “And if we go back a year, we were really struggling as a Rotary Club, trying to figure out how are we going to make grants to our local non-profits, who are in the biggest need position of ever. And we came up with a concept of doing limited balls last year. We came up in the dark of one morning before anybody was on Main Street and we actually conducted a Running of the Balls that was videotaped and put on Park City Television. And we ended up raising $30,000. And this money went to scholarships for students from Park City. And right now we’re in the final stages of our granting process, and we’re going to be granting another $10,000 to local nonprofits.”


You can purchase a ball now by visiting. parkcityminersday.org. They’re also available in coming weeks from any Rotarian, at Silly Market, or in person on the day of the event.


Kelly said the Running of the Balls takes place between 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Miner’s Day, followed by the Miner’s Day Parade at 11.


For the parade, and the rest of the holiday this year, Kelly said the message is that this is Park City’s festival.


Residents and their friends can walk in the parade for free, as can local non-profits. Kelly said there’s a charge for politicians and corporate entries.


“What we’d really like to do this year is just challenge neighborhoods in the Park City and the greater Snyderville Basin and Summit County to get together with your friends, bring your wagons, your dogs, find some crazy funky costumes and just walk down Main Street,” he said. “Pretend you’re miners of old or whatever you want to do. This is our town, and let’s celebrate it together.”


Afterwards, there’s entertainment, food trucks and games at City Park. 


Kelly said one change is that the traditional Miners Mucking and Drilling competition is now a demonstration. He said there are not many people around today with skills in drilling or shoveling broken rock into ore cars, called mucking.


Kelly said starting at 12:30 are multiple mucking and drilling demonstrations.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.