Is it Miners’ Day Already? Park City Revives Tradition

Nobody really works in Park City these days, so it makes sense we don’t do a traditional Labor Day. While most of the country is honoring the broader mission of the proletariat, Parkites celebrate the laborers who toiled below the surface so some captain of industry living near the Capital could profit. Monday, September 3 is Miners’ Day. Frankly, it’s nice to be able to celebrate part of the town’s mining history that doesn’t include being shortlisted on the EPA’s list of Superfund sites.

Miner’s Day kicks off with the annual Running of the Balls at 10:45 am. The Running may not be quite as death defying as its Pamplona analog, but it’s a madcap event all the same. Some 10,000 golf balls careen down a chute on Main Street in a race for glory. Each ball in the Running is “adopted” by a fortune-seeking participant—it’s $5 per ball, or five for $20. The fastest balls win their owners’ prizes ranging from season ski passes to hotel stays and dinners. Some of the balls choose to make a daring leap for freedom, so keep your head on a swivel.

Immediately after the chaotic cascade is a more orderly procession down Main Street. The Miners’ Day Parade starts at 11:00 a.m. and includes community floats, marching bands, local politicians and revelers of all stripes.

The highlight of the day is the annual mucking and drilling competition. The clash features would-be miners facing off in a test of speed and mettle to master traditional skills. The mucking portion sees competitors using heavy equipment to load muck—the broken-up ore from blasting and drilling—into an ore cart as quickly as possible. The drilling competition mostly involves ambitious strongmen clumsily handling huge compressed-air hammer drills while being ruthlessly bested by more experienced competition. The crowd-favorite event begins at 2:00 p.m. in City Park, across from the Library, and is free of charge.

Check out the Miners’ Day website for a full listing of the day’s events.

See all of our Park City Life coverage here.

Tony Gill
Tony Gill
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

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