In a town that bikes diamonds, skis powder, and fly fishes, it may come as no surprise that once a year, we also run our balls.
Allow us to explain.
A Miners’ History
In 1898 our historic miners poked their heads above ground, 30 years after the first ore was spotted, for a day filled with celebration, fresh air, and if for no other reason - to spot their shadows. Miner’s Day was born, and more than a century later, Park City continues to honor its hardworking history with an annual lineup of events from parades, to music, to mining demonstrations, to The Running of the Balls.
September 5, 2022 marks the 124th annual Miner’s Day.
The history of Park City’s heritage is alive and well, visible throughout town, between the aspens, and depending on the season, from a single-track or ski run. Where 300 mines once operated, 20 historic structures remain. Many of them require donations, time, and a passion for our past to rehabilitate.
Rusted, shabby, sealed, and boarded, the old mines of yesterday, from Comstock Mine to Ontario Mine, to Silver King and Jupiter, these structures remain rooted to their posts as the echoing calls of a once lit match, snuffed out in 1982 by Park City’s greatest resource – snow.
We’re a town proud of our tunnels and homes, our aged-wood and rusting roofs, with preservation committees, year-round historic tours, dedicated mascots, and the annual Miner’s Day bacchanal.
For those looking to engage in person with our town’s silver-rich past (beyond the Miner’s Day events), there are several ways to embark on a journey down memory lane, no matter the season.
For a list of ways to explore Park City’s history, check out our post on 7 Ways to Explore Park City's Mining History.
The Running of the Balls
After a quick 5K down the historic rail trail ending in a Miner’s Day Breakfast, the crowd will gather on Historic Main Street for The Running of the Balls. Hosted by Park City Rotary (and arguably one of the most entertaining events of the day), The Running of the Balls benefits several local nonprofits by offering patrons the chance to buy a ball through donation. Small balls are $10, huge balls are $100, and no, we aren’t making this up.
Lining the route will be locals and guests alike, all cheering as thousands of yellow ping-pong-like balls are released and sent on their way racing towards the finish. Prizes are as epic as the sight itself, from free ski passes to dining, lodging, and golf, experiences around town such as tickets to the Park City Institute, massage, fitness classes, and even a pair of Rossignol skis.
Once the balls have been released, the day is afoot, literally, because next up is the parade. At 11 am Main Street will once again part ways to welcome its own with cheers, claps, and endless support. It’s a day filled with family and fun you won’t want to miss.
Miners Day Schedule – Monday September 5, 2022
7:30 - 9:30 a.m. — Miners’ Day Breakfast, City Park
8:00 a.m. — Miners’ Day Bark City 5k Run, City Park
10:30 a.m. — Running of the Balls, Main Street
11:00 a.m. — Miners’ Day Parade, Main Street
11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. — Food Trucks & Beer/Liquor Garden,
11:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. — Music in the Park, City Park Stage
12:30 - 1:00 p.m. — Kids Games, City Park
12:30 - 3:00 p.m. — Mining Demonstrations, City Park (across from library on Park Ave.)
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. —History tours of Miners’ Hospital
Mining Demonstrations – City Park
Ever wondered just how they got the silver out of the ore? Starting at 12:30pm mucking and drilling demonstrations will be held at City Park to show onlookers the intensely physical task of working the mines. From hand-loading carts, to tunnel-sized tractors, to compressed-air hammer drills, not all that glittered in the darkness of Park City’s 1,200 miles of tunnels, was gold, or…silver.
It's a day to celebrate our past and honor the future by applauding the many businesses and micro-communities who march down main street, waving banners and flags. It’s a day we say farewell to summer, hello to fall, and salute the tunneled-foundation up which these mountains stand.