Park Silly Sunday Market ends as contract talks loom
Sunday, Sept. 24, is the final day of the 2023 market.
The Park Silly Sunday Market includes dozens of local vendors, live music, and a farmer’s market. To accommodate the market, Park City shuts down lower Main Street at Heber Avenue so pedestrians can walk along the street lined by booths filled with arts, crafts, and other items for sale.
The market Sept. 24 is the last one according to Park Silly’s contract with Park City. That contract expires this year.
After hearing concerns from Old Town businesses, Park Silly Sunday Market Executive Director Kate McChesney cut the number of markets from 14 to 11, and lessened the market’s footprint to lower Main Street. That has impacts on sponsorships and revenue, but she maintains the event is still economically sustainable for the nonprofit.
At a city council meeting in August, McChesney said she was prepared for the end of the market on Main Street.
“We really thought we were canceled,” McChesney said. “With that meeting, it came out that they would like us to put in a proposal for the future with a long-term contract. And so we’ve now put that proposal up in front of city council and we will now go back to the council on Oct. 26.”
At the most recent meeting, local business owners said the market is crucial to attracting people to Main Street, especially as economic conditions tighten.
The Historic Park City Alliance, which represents a variety of businesses on Main Street, recently conducted a new survey on the market.
Out of nearly 100 responses, 41% percent of survey takers said they prefer the market with 14 Sundays, rather than the reduced 11 days this year. 28% said the market negatively impacts business and they don’t support it continuing. 21% said they like the 11 day schedule this year.
The results differ widely from a similar survey taken last year, which found over two-thirds of businesses didn’t want the market to continue on Main Street due to disruption and lack of customers.
McChesney said organizers remain open to community feedback about how to make the market work best for Old Town businesses and neighbors. Main Street has been the market’s home for 17 years, and she hopes that doesn’t change.
“It’s a vibrant, beautiful community nestled in the mountains,” McChesney said. “This coming Sunday, I’m super excited because the leaves are starting to change, and those buildings that are all so colorful, just really look amazing.”
The market on the 24th will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on lower Main Street, north of Heber Avenue.
For the season finale, the market will feature a pet adoption. Four nonprofits will be stationed in the Marriott Plaza, offering dogs and cats for adoption. McChesney said over twenty animals were adopted at a similar event last year.
As always, visitors to the market are encouraged to take advantage of free Park City Transit.