Summer and the 4th of July in Park City: Nothing is More All-American

Few spots on Earth can beat summertime in Park City, when back-to-back festivals and celebrations, coupled with ideal temperatures and blue skies, have truly made it the year-round community it has always claimed to be. Included is the epic 4th of July in Park City.

Throughout the summer, activities abound, especially those of the musical variety, with free concerts programmed nearly every night of the week. On Sundays, after spending the day at Park Silly Sunday Market, head out to Pinebrook for the return of the concerts at Quarry Village, sponsored by the new Billy Blanco’s Motor City Grill, which joins Park City restaurateur Bill White’s collection of restaurants, including Grappa, Chimayo, Wahso, Windy Ridge, Ghidotti’s and Sushi Blue. Wednesdays at 6 p.m., many locals head up to Deer Valley for the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series, picnics and coolers in tow, while Thursday night it’s a toss-up between the kid-friendly concerts at Newpark, or the more refined (though also kid friendly) “Plaza Palooza” shows at Silver Star. Silver Star also hosts the “Park City Limits” music series on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer, while live music is programmed each Saturday afternoon on Main Street at Miner’s Park. Just pick a day, and the music maven in you can easily find his or her groove.

In many areas of Utah, July 4th receives scant attention compared to July 24th, or Pioneer Day, the statewide holiday celebrating the day Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, which receives greater fanfare than Independence Day in most communities. Ever the rebel, Park City favors America’s birthday with a day-long celebration worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting, while Pioneer Day is a mere blip the average local’s radar.

Before getting into the dawn ‘til dusk activities for the 4th of July in Park City, the 3rd bears noting, since that’s when Canyons Resort holds its much-anticipated annual bash, complete with free music by the Soulistics at 7:30 p.m. and a massive fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. This year, Canyons shows its altruistic side by charging $5 for parking in the Cabriolet lot, with all proceeds going to People’s Health Clinic. Click here for all the details.

Another not-to-be-missed activity is the Oakley 78th Annual PRCA Rodeo, when small town charm mixes with big guns from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Running July 3- 6, tickets always sell out, so get yours early by clicking here.

Arguably the most patriotic July 4th celebration in the state, Park City’s affair begins at 7 a.m. with a Pancake Breakfast in City Park ($7 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under), continues with the Park City Ski Team 5K Fun Run at 8 a.m., while rugby games, live music and a BBQ take over City Park beginning at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., look for the annual F-15 fly-over, followed by the famous 4th of July parade, which starts at the top of Main Street, switches over to Park Avenue at the bottom of Main, and ends at City Park, with more than 70 floats strutting their stuff. From noon – 4 p.m., check out the food, beer garden and vendors in City Park, go home and take a nap (you’ll need it!), and then return for spectacular fireworks over Park City Mountain Resort at dusk.

Newpark Town Center (at Kimball Junction, by Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter) is also getting in on the July 4th action, with a 6 p.m. concert featuring Fox Street All Stars, while Deer Valley comes alive with the Latin-infused triple bill of Los Lonely Boys, Los Lobos and Alejandro Escovedo.

Be sure to sleep in the next morning to rest up for the Cole Sport Back Alley Bash beginning at 5 p.m. on July 5. A decades-old tradition and local’s appreciation day for KPCW 91.9 FM, the event moved from Cole Sport’s parking lot (or “back alley”) years ago to assume its new roost on the Town Lift Plaza. The music-laced event is free, with all food and beverage purchases benefitting KPCW.

From July 10 – 14, our quaint mountain town becomes a foodie’s paradise during the annual Park City Food & Wine Classic. Food artisans, wineries, breweries and distilleries come together to taste and sip their way through the weekend at individual events with cutie-pie names like “Mud, Sweat & Cheers,” “SUP & Suds,” “Pigs & Pinot,” “A Zinful Day of Single Tracks” and “Belgium Makes it Better.”

For additional epicurean adventures, beer aficionados can head up to Stein Eriksen Lodge each Tuesday for its popular “Hops on the Hill” event, while produce paramours can be found at the Park City Farmer’s Market every Wednesday at Canyons Resort’s Cabriolet parking lot (however, because of Canyons’ July 3 festivities, the market will be held on July 4th).
Exhausted yet? Wait until you see what August has to offer!

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