Summertime is always a glorious time all along the Wasatch Back, but this summer, locals and visitors will be doubling up on the fun and experiences to truly celebrate our transition back to whatever looks like normal post-COVID-19. This means reintroducing the events that make our community so unique after last summer’s hiatus. We’ve compiled a list of those that have confirmed their 2021 return below.
Park City Farmers Market
Wednesdays through Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Silver King Lot at Park City Mountain
This beloved Park City tradition is celebrating 20 years this year, and even opened two weeks early to make up for starting two weeks late last year due to the pandemic. Patrons can expect to find seasonal produce, locally-crafted goods (oils, breads, cheeses, jewelry and clothing), and prepared foods. Mask wearing will not be enforced, but the organizers encourage attendees to be respectful of other patrons and the vendors, keep safe distances, and are able to acquire a free mask upon request.
Park Silly Sunday Market
June 6 – Sept 26 (except July 25, Aug 1 & 8), Historic Main Street
One of the Park City summertime stalwarts is Park Silly Sunday Market, returning to its home on Main Street on Sunday, June 6. This free, zero-waste, open-air market transforms lower Main into a walkable experience featuring vendor booths, entertainment, kids activities, nonprofits, food and adult beverages. Some beloved PC businesses helped build their devoted followings at the Silly Market, including Freshies Lobster Co., and an untold number of pets have been adopted through Nuzzles & Co.’s presence each Sunday. But for many, it’s the beer garden, ginormous Bloody Marys and tasty food options that keep so many locals pedaling or walking their way up to Main Street each week.
While booths on Lower Main tend to feature jewelry, hats, clothing, art, soaps and other creative goods, farm stands are situated midway up Main on 5th Street by the Post Office, offering fresh fruits and vegetables.
As with all Main Street events, folks are encouraged to keep their dogs at home, since the heat of the asphalt and jam-packed street are not conducive to keeping Rover happy and safe.
New this year, Silly Market will recreate itself in two other Utah towns, with Park Silly Saturday Market at the Shops in South Town on the 3rd Saturday of each month, and via Helper Saturday Vibes in Historic Helper Main Street Park on select Saturdays throughout the summer – both great options if you find yourself in the Salt Lake Valley, or traveling to/from Moab, on a Saturday.
There are few events that embody the definition of “Americana” quite like the Oakley Independence Day Rodeo. Oakley is one of Summit County’s most picturesque small towns, incorporated in 1903 and comprised of just 1,500 residents. Originally named “Oak Creek,” the town has stuck to its agrarian roots of dairy farming, cattle ranching and hay production, though outdoor enthusiasts have discovered its proximity to the Mirror Lake Highway/Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Rockport Reservoir and Weber River make it an ideal basecamp for water sports, fly fishing, mountain biking and camping.
This year, in addition to the traditional rodeo events like saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and barrel racing, this year’s event will feature bullfighting and trick roping. Tickets for this iconic Eastern Summit County event are currently on-sale, and tickets for last year’s event will be honored on specific dates for 2021 (Please see link above).
52nd Annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival
August 6 – 8, 2021, Historic Main Street
This summer marks the return of the in-person Annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival, which is a relief to not only the locals who love the event, but also the restaurants and lodging properties who have long relied on visitors during the Arts Festival to help boost their summertime numbers. Last year’s, the Kimball Art Center accomplished an impressive feat by presenting a virtual event, but I think I speak for art enthusiasts everyone when I say, “Welcome back to Main Street!”
The decades-old event began in 1969 when group of local artists held an open-air arts festival on Main Street to provide a cultural offering during the summer months. Inspired by their efforts, local philanthropist, Bill Kimball, donated the former Kimball’s Garage to become the original Kimball Arts Center at its former 638 Park Avenue location, solidifying Park City as a destination for visual arts for the next half-century.
The Arts Festival has since grown to include 200+ professional visual artists, and brings 50,000 visitors to town annually. The caliber of artists who are juried into the event each year make it one of the premier festivals of its kind, with offerings ranging from fine jewelry and photography, to woodworking, textiles and sculpture. The Arts Festival also provides a culinary and entertainment experience that gives everyone something to enjoy, regardless of their propensity toward visual art.
The schedule and other specifics about this year’s event are still forthcoming, so keep an eye on their site at ParkCityKimballArtsFestival.org for updates and ticket information!
Summit County Fair
August 6 – 14, 2021, Coalville
The annual Summit County Fair is back with its down-home demolition derby and rodeo as cornerstone events, but you’ll also find traditional county fair happenings like the Junior Livestock Sale, Little Buckaroo Rodeo, carnival rides, Miss Summit County Scholarship Pageant, food booths, beer garden, plus Home Arts, Horticulture and 4H exhibitions.
Sept. 3 & 4, 2021, Midway
In homage to its Swiss heritage, the Town of Midway in Wasatch County holds its annual Swiss Days event each Labor Day weekend, offering arts, crafts and culinary delights you won’t readily find at any other outdoor fair in our region
Each year’s event starts with a parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning through the heart of town, followed by food booths offering delicacies like Swiss Tacos (a version of fry bread), bratzeli cookies and zopf – braided swiss bread. Swiss-inspired entertainment in past years has included master yodelers, the Edelweiss Swiss Chorus and the much-anticipated (by Midway residents, especially) Swiss Miss Royalty pageant. And the craftsmanship of the artisans displaying their wares is awe-inspiring, and a great opportunity to get a jump start on your holiday shopping
A few tips for firstimers include leaving the stroller at home and opting for a carrier, parking in one of the outlying lots and taking the shuttle, and scheduling in time to check out the annual Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship, held just a few miles away from September 3 – 6, featuring the world’s top sheepdogs and herders.
Park City Wine Festival
Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, 2021
Making its return this fall, the Park City Wine Festival allows an opportunity for winemakers, culinary greats and guests to “gather, wine, play and dine” during this mountainside event takes place in classrooms, restaurants, around town and right on the mountainside, in some instances
Events include the “Grand Tasting” on Friday and Saturday, featuring hundreds of domestic and international wines, in addition to premium beers and spirits, located at the Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, and the “Best of Fest” at Montage Deer Valley, where the standout vintages of the participating wineries’ portfolios are presented, with limited tickets available. There will also be a variety of wine dinners and pairings, plus lifestyle and educational seminars. All events are for adults aged 21 and older, and can be found by clicking here.
Heber Valley Western Music and Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Oct. 13 – 17, 2021
Often referred to simply as “Cowboy Poetry,” the Heber Valley Western Music and Cowboy Poetry Gathering has evolved over the years to become one of the nation’s largest gatherings of its kind. The event includes both local musicians and national headlining acts, but the true stars are the cowboy poets who pay tribute to Western Culture, often evoking both laughter and tears within the same reading. The event also includes a Buckaroo Fair with arts, crafts, cowboy gear, a Mountain Man camp and cowboy church. It’s a singular event that reminds us all why we chose to make our homes here in the Rocky Mountains.
For more information on the events and happenings that inspire so many to Choose Park City, connect with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or visit her website by clicking here to learn more about the area.