Park City Extreme Cup Tournament Returns This Week

Nearly 500 youth soccer teams will be in town this Thursday through Saturday to be a part of an annual soccer tournament.

This Thursday through Saturday The Wasatch Back will be host to the 16th annual Park City Extreme Cup Soccer Tournament.

The youth tournament is for players ages 8-18 and hosted by the Park City Soccer Club.

Executive Director Shelly Gillwald explains Park City Soccer Club shares tournament hosting responsibilities with clubs throughout the Wasatch back.

“In order to hold a tournament of this size we actually partner with the Heber Valley Soccer Club and the South Summit Soccer Club out in Oakley,” Gillwald continued. “We hold the tournament on 44 fields at 16 venues. Those are out in the Basin, Ecker Hill, Willow Creek, Trailside. Then in town along Kerns, the high school, Treasure, North 40 and the Park City Sports Complex. As well as out of the rodeo grounds in Oakley South Summit High School and then we’re at four venues over in Heber.”

The tournament will host 466 teams throughout the intermountain west including teams from California, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Nevada. It takes about 4,000 volunteer hours to put on the tournament. Gillwald says they get volunteers from soccer club participants and their parents. As well as other local youth groups, such as Park City Ski & Snowboard and local high school teams.

“They’ll come and volunteer and then in their name, we will pay a fee back to their organizations,” Gillwald explained. We have volunteers that will use it to pay their program fees. In another instance, three years ago maybe, Park City girls high school tennis team wanted to purchase new uniforms. So, they came and volunteered as a group and the funds we paid back to them enabled them to buy uniforms. So, that’s one of the things I’m pretty proud about of this tournament. Not only does it benefit our local soccer community, but there’s an opportunity for other youth-based programs to benefit from this big tournament as well.”

Gillwald says with so many venues, the tournament doesn’t have a huge impact on traffic, but it is something to be aware of. She says the more local support at the tournament the better.

“Ultimately, the tournament allows us to award over $70,000 in scholarships to local kids,” Gillwald said. “That’s the purpose of our tournament is to raise funds to support this very large scholarship program.”

You can find out more about the extreme cup soccer tournament here.

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Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: