So basically July is full of barbecues, swimming, popsicle stained blue tongues, fireworks, and lots and lots of sunblock!
Pioneer Day is the day to celebrate our Utah heritage. On July 24th 1847 the Latter Day Saints were led by prophet Brigham Young into the Salt Lake Valley, it was one of the greatest treks in United States history! Utah has been officially celebrating this holiday since 1849, it’s definitely a big deal! Members of the LDS church often celebrate this with pioneer reenactments, potlucks, and picnics. But everyone in Utah gets the chance to celebrate! More history here.
That history lesson was fun, but let us move on to the really fun part….One of the most exciting events of the holiday weekend is the Days of ‘47 parade. This parade is on Monday July 24th at 9am. This parade is presented by KSL and is full of floats and fun! Fun like clowns, bands, and even real horses! The parade begins at State Street and South Temple, and you are welcome to join the many who camp out so they can reserve a spot to enjoy the parade front row!
Want a sneak peek of all the floats? You can enjoy a float preview party at the Salt Towne Expo Center, July 17th through the 18th. Not only can you see the elaborate floats before everyone else, but you can talk to float designers and technicians, to learn about behind the scenes. There will be voting for float competition, and make sure you stay long enough to see the winners announced. Floats are pretty dang fun, but there will also be live entertainment like bands, clowns, and performances! You can even get a photo with the Days of ‘47 Royalty winners!
If you want to enjoy calm before the parade, enjoy a sunrise service at 7am on July 24th. You can experience a service that can be enjoyed by people of all religions and beliefs put on by Salt Lake Pioneer Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. There will be beautiful music performed by Salt Lake Institute choirs, and an inspirational talk from Elder LeGrand R. Curtis. (A member of the Quorum of the Seventy, of the LDS Church) The Mormon Battalion will then perform a flag ceremony, with the Pledge of Allegiance. Make sure to be seated by 6:50 am, and the service will end by 8am. It will be held at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, at 50 W North Temple. Admission is free, and all are welcome!
And what summer celebration is complete without a rodeo? Of course there is a Days of ‘47 Rodeo in Utah! This rodeo can be enjoyed Wednesday July 19th through Monday July 24rd. This rodeo is considered one of the best in the nation, which is perfect because we think the state of Utah is one of the best in the nation! The best cowgirls and cowboys from all over the US will be competing for a grand prize of $411,000! You can enjoy thrilling events like Bull Riding, Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, Team Roping, Steer Wrestling, and Tie-Down Roping. Meet the famous and always hilarious clown, Frankie “Punkintown” Smith. He’s been making Rodeo crowds laugh for 15 years, so you know your entertainment is in good hands. You know we love a good barbeque, we think it’s one of the most important summer activities. The Days of ‘47 Rodeo crew agrees! From 4 to 7pm each night, the top barbeque joints in the state will be serving their delicious grub. If you’re a REAL rib lover, you can purchase a VIP ticket that’s sure to make your heart (and stomach) sing. Purchase a 10 person VIP table and enjoy an all you can eat rib fest every night of the rodeo, complete with Gold Buckle rodeo tickets and VIP parking. More info here. Buy rodeo tickets via Smithtix here.
If you can’t make it to the big parade on the 24th, and you have kids, we highly recommend the Youth Parade on the 22nd! The parade starts at 600 East and 500 South, and runs west. The parade begins at 10am, and they ask that everyone brings a canned food to be donated to the Utah Food Bank. Following the youth parade, bring your crew to the Family Festival held at the City County Building in Washington Square located at 200 East and 450 South. Everything is free. There will be inflatable slides, obstacle courses, activities that will secretly be teaching your kids about pioneer history, and face painting! Music and frozen treats will be enjoyed.
We’re so lucky we have so many fun options to celebrate the beehive state! Get the full Days of ‘47 scoop on their website here.
We obviously love our state, and we’re so happy we get an official reason to talk about it. Here’s some fun facts about the Beehive State!
- The average snowfall in Utah’s Mountains is 500 inches.
- Until 1868, Salt Lake City was called “Great Salt Lake City”. That’s kind of a mouth full..
- Utah is home to 5 national parks! (Arches, Canyonlands, Zions, Bryce, and Capitol Reef)
- We get the name “Utah” from the Native American word “Ute” which means people of the Mountains. Fitting right?
- Our very own Great Salt Lake is larger than the State of Rhode Island!
Have fun, be safe, and love Utah!
*Photos are the rights of their respective owners