PARK CITY, Utah — The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is celebrating 100 years at its present location, and has invited the public to join in on the festivities.
The Elks, a national patriotic and charitable organization, has been active in Park City since the 1880s and has resided at their current location at 550 Main Street, above Tanner Trading, since 1922.
According to Cheryl Soshnik, co-chair of the 2022 Elks open house, Elks Lodge #734 has remained relatively untouched during the last centennial, making it a relic of not only Elks history, but Park City history as well.
“When they first opened this, they were kind of the social gathering center for the community, particularly during the era where Park City was kind of turning into a ghost town in the 40s and 50s and 60s before the resorts came here,” Soshnik said. “Probably 99% of the people who walk Main Street don’t even know that we’re here, and have never been in this building past Tanner Trader’s because we don’t usually open our doors to the public.”
Although non-members are rarely invited into the Elks lodge, the general public is encouraged to attend a family-friendly Christmas open house on Saturday, December 17 from 1-4 p.m.
There will be refreshments, historical displays of the building, Elks activities and charitable programs, and of course the big man himself, Santa Claus, will make an appearance from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
This Christmas open house will be reminiscent of the Christmas party the Elks threw in 1922 to celebrate the construction of the lodge.
“We’d been talking all year about how to celebrate the birthday of this building and we were going to try to do it in the summer until somebody finally said, ‘why don’t we just mimic what we did a hundred years ago and have it as a Christmas party,'” Soshnik said.