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Park Silly Market sets record year for attendance and Holiday Bazaar is set for this weekend

The annual Silly Holiday Bazaar is set for this Friday through Sunday
Park Silly Sunday Market
The annual Silly Holiday Bazaar is set for this Friday through Sunday

This year’s Park Silly Sunday Market saw as much as a 30% increase in visitors to Park City’s lower Main St. even though the number of vendors was cut by about that same amount.

Santa will be on-site all three days and children are welcome to have their pictures taken with Santa

In 2020, the Park Silly Sunday Market was one of the first large events to shut down during the pandemic. This year, it was one of the first to reopen. Given the increasing numbers who turned out each Sunday, it was obvious people were ready to get back to normal.

Silly Sunday Market Ex. Director Kate McChesney says it was a good summer.

“It was unbelievable,” McChesney said. “I think, being one of the first events to kick off the summer after COVID, there was a lot of nervousness and anxiety but after all was said and done that opening day was incredible. And we just kept on it from there.”

McChesney says they averaged 16,000 to 17,000 people each week – and even higher on the 4th of July. She says they cut the number of vendors by a third, to try and keep people spread out along the street, especially in some of the tighter spots. Because the booth rentals make up the majority of the market’s income, she says they look forward to getting back to their typical numbers next year. Applications for the 2022 Silly Sunday Market will be online in mid-December.

As with most other employers, the market she says had to increase its payroll to keep its staff from looking elsewhere...

“We knew right out of the gate when I talked to a couple of my leads that we were going to have to increase our payroll and so we increased our payroll almost 20%,” she said. “And so, we right out of the gate we're paying top dollar to make sure everybody shows up because we, as everyone in this community, need staff and need people to put the market together from five o'clock in the morning till we kick off at 10. And so, we had a great crew. And a lot of our crew has been with our staff for nine to 10 years. So, they know what they're doing. They were excited for me to call them and say, hey, I know you're coming back, but we're going to give you a raise regardless, so it was a really good summer. We’re very thankful.”

The market continues to work to be eco-friendly. This year she says they maintained a 74% diversion rate, meaning that only a quarter of the trash that the market generates ends up in the landfill.

The dates for next summer’s market have been approved by the Park City Council. In January, McChesney says they will begin meeting with city staff to hammer out what she hopes can be another multi-year contract starting in 2023.

“My fingers are crossed. And really that's kind of all I can do. Our numbers stand for themselves. Our ease of management hopefully stands for itself. But after all is said and done, we’re always open to all of the conversations we're open to mitigating with the additional friends and neighbors on the street. We have always been open to mitigate with the friends and neighbors. So, it's just a matter of us all coming together in one room and going forward. But we would love another multi year contract.”

Next weekend, the market is hosting its biggest fundraiser of the year – the Holiday Bazaar for three days – December 10th through the 12th at the Doubletree Hotel at the corner of Park Ave. and Kearns Blvd. The hours are Friday 5 to 9 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 5. She has 90 vendors lined up.

“We had a lot of new vendors because I think over the last two years people got very creative in their homes and found out they were artisans. So, we've got some great vendors great holiday vendors get all your shopping done everything from your baby to your amazing Park City dog all the way to your aunts, and uncles and parents.”