Labor Day events in Park City might seem a little unusual at first glance. Although this thriving mountain town hardly neglects the usual components of a traditional celebration, from live music to an elaborate parade, somewhere between a horde of tennis balls rolling down Main Street, people running through the streets in costume, and a mass of burly men drilling boulders for an enthusiastic audience, visitors might get the feeling that Labor Day has a little different meaning in Park City than elsewhere.
And they would be right. Traditionally called Miner’s Day, the first weekend in September is earmarked in Park City to celebrate its rich history as a mining town. Long before it became a world-class ski destination and Olympic venue, Park City thrived on the labor of silver miners, who fueled Park City’s economy as recently as the 1960s. Park City now celebrates this history with “mucking and drilling” competitions, an old-fashioned Miner’s Day parade, kids’ races and community gatherings. If you plan to celebrate Labor Day in the cool mountains of Park City, use this guide to hit the most exciting events.
Labor Day Celebration Schedule
Park City’s Labor Day celebrations start with a 7 a.m. pancake breakfast held in City Park. This hearty morning meal will offer ample fuel for the Funky Miner’s Day 5k and brand-new 10k to benefit Arts Kids, a non-profit organization that creates art programs for kids of all backgrounds. The race starts at 8 a.m. and day-of registration starts at 6:30 a.m. For runners who missed their pre-race pancakes, the course conveniently ends at City Park so the athletes can dig in with a recovery stack — that is, as long as they finish eating in time for the next event.
At 10:45 a.m. all attention will be on Main Street for the world-famous “Running of the Balls,” a charity event for the Park City Rotary Club that sends hundreds of tennis balls rolling down the street in a wild race to the bottom. Entrants can “adopt a ball” through a $5 donation to the Rotary Club, and the sponsor of the first ball through the chute wins a fabulous prize. Donations are accepted online or before the race.
Once the street is cleared of the tennis ball stampede, the Funky Old-Fashioned Miner’s Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. This eclectic collection of floats and live entertainment runs from Main Street to Park Avenue before ending at City Park. Locals often follow the parade to its ending point, where live music, a BBQ and beer garden await. As the time nears 2 p.m., you might notice the bleachers of the Park City skate park, located next to City Park, start to fill. If you have never seen a demonstration of mucking and drilling, you might want to get your seat early. This competition, based on old mining techniques, is a popular Miner’s Day event and a lively showcase of one extraordinary talent.
Live music and kids’ games, including a bouncy house and face painting, continue in the park until 5 p.m. Other Park City Labor Day events include the Park City Library annual book sale and the Miner’s Day softball tournament, both of which take place near City Park. Visitors from outside Park City can take advantage of a number of Park City lodging options, including private homes and condos that are within walking distance of the Miner’s Day events.
Those who are driving into town for the day will find ample parking at Park City Mountain Resort, a scenic walk or bus ride away from the action. Parking is also available at the Park City Library for those who attend the library’s book sale. The China Bridge parking lot, located on Swede Alley parallel to Main Street, is another free parking option close to the Miner’s Day events. For more information on the Labor Day events and activities of Park City, visit www.visitparkcity.com.