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Park Silly Sunday Market opens for 17th season

Park Silly Sunday Market
Park Silly Sunday Market

After a long winter, Park City’s lower Main Street hosted the first big kickoff party for summer, the Park Silly Sunday Market.

For the last three summers, Sundays have been car-free on Park City’s upper Main Street and businesses on the upper end of the street have said they felt a bit left out of the Silly Sunday market activity on the lower part of the street. But on Sunday, Main Street – top to bottom - was filled with lookers, shoppers, and diners, in spite of the cooler temperatures.

The market’s Executive Director Kate McChesney said she was thrilled with the turnout.

“Probably for the past 10 years, I always say, 'Oh, my goodness, did I do enough marketing,'” McChesney said. “And then over the years, we cut back on so much of our marketing that on opening day around 9:30 a.m., I look up the street and go, 'Oh, OK. People know we're happening.' So, we're really very fortunate and thankful.”

Working under a new one-year contract, McChesney said they had to cut three Sunday markets, which represent about a quarter of their revenue. But by moving the farmers market and consolidating the action to just lower Main Street, she said they will save some money.

Leslie Thatcher
Mackie Dewinter, 9, and his 10-year-old sister Cece at Park Silly Sunday Market selling their homemade creations from their business, Hairy Helmets, fun hair creations that stick on bike and snow helmets.

“When we were at the farmers market, we were setting up canopies. We had music up there, we had electric up there, we had recycling up there, we had volunteers up there, we had staff up there," she said. "That was a cost-cutter for us, especially with losing three dates, that was about 25% of our, you know, vendor revenue. And so, we were able to supplement in that way by you know, by taking that away for us.”

Andrew Wright and his family were visiting Park City from Arizona to get out of the heat. He said they had a great time at the market.

We found lots of treasures,” Wright said. “In fact, I have to go hunt my wife and daughter down because yeah, I think I've got their cash and I'm their pack mule today.”

This is 9-year-old Mackie Dewinter and his 10-year-old sister Cece’s second season selling their homemade creations from their business, Hairy Helmets, fun hair creations that stick on bike and snow helmets.

“I wanted to get my hair braided once,” CeCe said. “My brother wanted to get a mohawk. But our parents were like, 'No, you are not cutting up your hair for that.' So, we're like, 'Oh, so I have a helmet. I’m so bored, I don't know what to do.' So, we just put sticky thingies on. I've got a mohawk. And then we just invented them. And now we have things that we don't need to actually cut our hair for them.”

The brother-sister team also creates hand-painted denim jackets. According to Cece, by noon Sunday, they had sold 16 jackets and 10 hairy helmets. They’re off for summer vacation she said, so they won’t be back at the market until August with some new offerings.

Leslie Thatcher
Local Ezra Rosenfield enters his tenth year at the market selling his recycled pet toys.

This is local Ezra Rosenfield’s tenth year at the market where he is a market favorite, selling his recycled pet toys, since he was just 8 years old.

He said it’s been a great summer job. He has saved his profits -- some of which will be used for spending money as he heads off to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, this fall and he has invested some of the money as well.

“I sell dog toys,” Rosenfield said. “I make them out of reused materials like climbing rope and T-shirts. Some used tennis balls. I get them from around the community. The goal is to make toys that are fun and durable. You know, climbing rope is a super strong material, and also one that can't be disposed of easily. It can't be recycled. So, if I make toys out of it, then it's a durable toy and a fun toy.”

From the city’s perspective, the first market of the season went well. Special Events Director Jenny Diersen said as the first of many special events planned for the summer, the Silly Market’s opening day helps test city operations.

“We were really pleased that we saw a lot of people take transit," she said. "Parking did hit capacity around noon. So, parking was full for most of the day until the market ended around five o'clock. And then we saw a good amount of, you know, car and pedestrian traffic on upper Main Street as well. So, all in all, I'd say the event, you know, went off without a hitch.     

For Old Town residents who need additional resident access passes, Diersen said to call or email the city so she can get the passes to you.