Park City Holiday History

In the early days of Park City, the holidays were celebrated with home-made gifts and humble fare.  Decorations featured materials found in nature—evergreen, pinecones, holly, nuts and berries. Many miner’s cottages were too small for Christmas trees, but those who found the space decorated their trees with bits of foil and ribbon, berries, strings of popcorn and decorations made of straw and yarn. Children fashioned ornaments from cookie dough and gingerbread men. Holidays were a welcome respite for Park City’s hard-working population. None of the miners went to work on Christmas Day. Those far from home and family treated themselves to a soak in the local bath house and a hot meal, generally followed by a trip to the saloon. As Park City grew and more families established roots, bands played carols on Main Street and businesses decorated their windows and gifted bottles of whiskey to their favorite customers. Many stores ordered shipments of holiday provisions well in advance of the season to safeguard against deliveries delayed by snow. Local churches insured that no one went home empty-handed, hosting Christmas celebrations at which every child received a popcorn ball, bag of candy and present of some kind. 

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Vanessa Conabee
Vanessa Conabee
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