Park City will celebrate Independence Day on July 2.
And then again on July 4.
The Park City Council on Thursday opted to shift the date of the traditional Fourth of July parade from the holiday itself, which is on a Sunday this year, to July 2, which is the Friday before July 4. The elected officials also chose to hold the fireworks display on July 4, stretching the celebration through the three-day weekend. They left open the possibility that a traditional rugby game would be held on July 2 or July 4, but the date was not finalized on Thursday. There will be an event during the daytime on July 4 along Main Street honoring a late Park City police officer who died on July 4 in 1984 after he was struck by a driver while directing traffic.
The vote was 4-1 with City Councilor Nann Worel dissenting. There were comments from some of the other city councilors about a desire to protect public health with the novel coronavirus still spreading.
In an interview afterward, Worel explained her dissenting vote by saying she received input from people who wanted the parade kept on July 4. She also said she is a veteran and the July 4 date is important to her.
The decision followed weeks of talks about the holiday. The Independence Day celebration is usually one of the largest events of the year in Park City, with crowds jamming into the community for the daylong activities with the parade in the morning and the fireworks at night being the highlights. Park City has long been seen as hosting one of the state’s best-known July 4 celebrations.
The events were canceled in 2020 out of concern of the coronavirus. The worries at City Hall continued as the event for 2021 was crafted. There is continuing caution about the sickness and whether the coronavirus could further spread at the July 4 events in Park City even with the state and national vaccination effort continuing.
A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting indicated the altered date of the parade could reduce the number of spectators from the Salt Lake City area and reduce the cost of municipal services since holiday rates would not be required. The overall crowd could be smaller than is typical, the report said, indicating “some may have challenges getting Friday off work.” The report also said the July 2 schedule could lead to additional weeknight lodging bookings.
The schedule for the three-day weekend, as outlined in the report:
• Friday, July 2: 11 a.m. parade followed by a symphony concert at Deer Valley Resort in the evening.
• Saturday, July 3: time to be determined for an Air Force flyover followed by an Independence Day celebration at Canyons Village at 9 p.m.
• Sunday, July 4: 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. pedestrian day on Main Street with the Park Silly Sunday Market, holiday performances and the ceremony honoring the fallen police officer. A volleyball tournament is planned at City Park from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. A fireworks display is set for 9 p.m. at Park City Mountain Resort.