The Sunday Silly Market in Park City’s Old Town was the main 4th of July attraction this year for throngs of visitors and locals alike.
People attended from all over the country, and some did not find out the parade had been rescheduled until it was too late. Hattie Hawkins, who was in town from St. Louis to visit her sister, was surprised there was no parade on the 4th, but said they enjoyed spending the day in town all the same.
“We were excited to take in [the parade], but it is what it is,” Hawkins said. “At least we still get to do this today. Most everybody’s got their Fourth of July colors on, so at least everybody’s just celebrating together. I think it’s just great seeing all varieties of people out here. Everybody’s so loving and accommodating to everybody.”
Jeff and Lindsey Heath and their dog came up from Magna. They said they attend the Silly Market regularly and were just in town to enjoy the normal Sunday scene.
“We just come out here for the farmers market, to get some food, drinks, support local, get some stuff for the house and take the dog for a walk,” Jeff Heath said. “It’s nice that it’s not 2020 anymore. It’s good to see people walking around and enjoying everything again.”
This year’s parade was held July 2nd after City Council voted to move it to that day to minimize crowds for Covid safety and a more local experience. 35 floats filled with locals and businesses followed the traditional parade route for a shorter than usual celebration that still managed to enjoy perfect weather in between passing rain showers.
Park City resident Travis Stagle said he liked having the parade two days before the Fourth, because the crowd was smaller and had more familiar faces than in past years.
“I think the parade is an important part of the town. I think it brings out the locals and kind of shows who we are and our families and all the different organizations who are making this town so beautiful and unique,” he said. “If it’s just a bunch of tourists around, you can kind of feel like this can be done anywhere. I think the parade gives [July 4th in Old Town] its character, and it shows kind of who the people are that are taking care of the town.”
Alex Butwinski, also from Park City, agreed with Stagle that there were positive impacts to it being rescheduled and scaled down slightly.
He said, “I think our parades had gotten to the point to where we were outnumbered by 10 or 15 to 1, in terms of locals to visitors – which, not to denigrate visitors, we love them and try to keep Park City a nice place to visit. But, from a personal perspective, even the idea of it spread out over four days, I think, was a good idea.”
As for the fireworks ban this summer, all of those interviewed agreed it was worth avoiding the risk of wildfire.
Also on Sunday, the city held its annual memorial service at Schreurs Plaza. The ceremony honored Officer Rodney Schreurs, who died after being hit by a car on July 4, 1984. This year, city officials underscored the extra effort officers had made during the pandemic.
The ceremony included the national anthem sung by a Park City lieutenant, and a moment of silence and words from Chief Wade Carpenter.
A few other events livened up the fireworks-free long weekend, including an Air Force flyover Saturday morning, and sporting events, live music and a fun run Sunday.