September 5, 2023 - Rain was in and out of the Old Town area during the Miners Day festivities in Park City, Utah Monday.
After raining all morning, stormy conditions began to ease around 10 a.m., right before the Running of the Balls on Main Street.
Spectators prepare for the Running of the Balls on Park City's Main Street.
Photo: Renai Bodley Miller
Robbie Baker, who recently moved to the Park City area, experienced it for the first time Monday.
“We thought it would be pretty cool just to see it,” Baker said. “We’ve been to the parade before, but we’ve never seen the balls, and so we got involved, we bought some and I’m here to win. I’m in it to win it.”
Sponsored by the Park City Rotary Club, the Running of the Balls involved over 11,000 golf balls this year. Balls are launched from a tower down Main Street and run along a track surrounded by spectators.
New this year, purple balls were launched first, sponsored by the men’s grooming company Manscaped. Proceeds went to the Testicular Cancer Society.
Connall Fox wound up on Main Street by accident and decided to take in the festivities.
Park City Museum's float included part of the collapsed Daly West mine. The mine, located next to the Montage Deer Valley, was restored last summer.
Photo: Parker Malatesta
“I just stumbled across it. I was actually trying to get to City Park but it’s all closed off and I found myself driving behind the library trying to hook left to get into park and I couldn’t and I ended up in Old Town,” Fox said. “I’m expecting big balls rolling down the hill. I’m hoping there’s gonna be people running, not me, but I’m hoping somebody will be running in front of the balls.”
Fox, who has European roots, said he was enjoying a rare moment when Main Street was pedestrian-only.
“Main Street without cars is cool,” he said. “It’s a great time here to be able to walk around an American town in a pedestrian way.”
The historic parade from the top of Main to Park Avenue began shortly after the balls had their moment. The parade included Park City Council candidates, local organizations, and classic cars.
The Rotary Club added a new parade award this year, the fan favorite.
Park City High School student Katie Kurchinski, who hadn’t attended the parade in years, said one float stood out.
“Even though it was a lot of rain, I think a lot of people showed up and it was a great time,” Kurchinski said. “I liked the one with the tractor that said ‘pave less, plant more.’”
Others agreed. Park Record columnist Tom Clyde who rode an old red tractor down Main Street with a sign that read “plant more, pave less” took home the inaugural fan favorite award.
The four other awards were decided by judges. The Park City Museum's float, which featured a piece of the collapsed Daly West mine, won both best mining theme and best overall community entry.
Deer Valley won best overall commercial float for a branded Range Rover with a banner.
The most original and creative entry went to Park City Leadership Class 29. Its float promoted the class project “Let’s Talk,” which encourages community discussion about sometimes divisive topics.
Each winner was awarded $1,000. For-profit winners share 50% of the award money with a Summit County nonprofit of their choice.
The fun and good weather continued at City Park later Monday, with music, games and mining demonstrations.