The Park Silly Market concluded its 12th season this past weekend. The organizers are happy to report their numbers are up, and this summer represented the first year in a three-year contract with Park City Municipal.
KPCW talked to Park Silly’s Executive Director Kate McChesney and Operations Director Michelle McDonald, who said their overall attendance was up 8%.
The market saw 193,000 people over 14 Sundays—an average of about 14,000.
They reported some other good numbers, including the number of attendees using alternate transit.
“We did 1,650 people at the bike valet we also were able to get great numbers from the High School for parking counts.” McChesney explained, “We parked anywhere between 160 to over 200 cars every Sunday. The whole walk, bike, hike, take the bus message is definitely getting out there. Well with the parking too being paid parking that really helped people to go ‘oh oh oh maybe I should have listened to that sign as I was driving in to town.”
“I think it may have motivated locals a little more.” McDonald added.
They also added that 30% of the vendors were from Summit County, and 80% of those people had Park City zip codes.
The parking management was also good for short-term visitors to the Silly Market.
“You could find a spot instead of looping around old town.” McDonald said.
McChesney continued, “There are people who really do just want to come to the farmers market, get their produce for the day park for 10 or 15 minutes which they still can, there was still accessible parking right here by the station. Hop over there and then just leave. It’s nice to keep that convenient.”
McDonald also explained that the West side of Park Avenue was residential parking only.
The market also continued to be eco-friendly.
“Michelle handles all the vendors.” McChesney explained, “She, gosh god love her, really straps down and says, ‘hey anything from ketchup packets to salt and pepper packets, anything, needs to be recyclable.’ If you look at our recycling number, it goes down but it’s also because everybody’s using more compostable. Compostable containers, plates, napkins, forks and knives so those now will go to the landfill, but they’ll end up composting a lot quicker. After all is said and done yes, we still fed the pigs. 12,760 lbs. of food went to the pigs and that’s us taking the food every Monday. Other than that, we had just about a 75% diversion rate.”
We asked if there’s anything different this year. They said there was a new wrinkle to their workload.
“The bollards, those were interesting.” McChesney continued, “4,300 lbs. of bollards that we put out every morning and then took back every afternoon. That was fun. Just when our team thought that they couldn’t take on a whole lot more that was an interesting—but that was also something again the city asked for our help. (They) said, ‘we don’t have the manpower to get this done every morning and every night. Do you think your team could be the ones to install those and then take those out?’ That was a good time we did that for the last six markets. We finally got it all figured out by the last one.”
They also began a partnership with Nuzzles and Co.
“We did two full adoption days with them, opening day and closing day.” McDonald explained, “Then we had five snuggle pits, I love the total number of adoptions that we got from them.”
They said they had somewhere between 11 and 14 adoptions.
The market organizers also got some time off in August for three weekends—due to the Kimball Arts fest, the Tour of Utah, and one weekend simply with no events. McChesney noted, though, during that time the Silly staff was busy helping with the county fair.
“We help a lot behind the scenes, a lot of people don’t realize everything that we’re doing.” McChesney stated, “Park City Institute, we also help program the 4th of July. We help with Miner’s day with the recycle, the Tour of Utah with the recycle. I also helped with the soccer tournament that was here in town. Even right now I’ve got people asking us to borrow whether or not it’s our bike valet, or our sandbags, or our A-frames, tents, tables, our zero-waste team. They’re so excited to help and so are we. We don’t want to be just our event we want everybody to realize that we’re everywhere else too.”