Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Really Big Show of Shoes

One of the more unique sights in Park City, Utah is the Shoe Tree. It is actually several trees --willows, I think--with interlocking branches. As we drove into Old Town, I spotted it from the main road. I was curious and, before we abandoned our parking spot in the afternoon, we went in search of the shoes. 

What we found was a small park with a stream running through it, along with a sidewalk and bike path--and SHOES! There must be hundreds of them that have been thrown up into the trees.

Though we did not find a sign to explain it, online I found that the tradition began in the 1970s as a ritual to the snow god, or perhaps after a few adult beverages. Now, there were also many children's shoes. One pair still had the Walmart tag on them, purchased for this specific purpose. I guess that showed they were a virginal sacrifice.

There is a story online of a woman a few years ago who decided the shoes were 3D graffiti, and proposed to the city council that it all be cleaned up. Apparently, the people nearly ran her out of town for messing with what they called their "funk."

And right in the midst of the shoes was a bird's nest!  I guess they were sole-mates.

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