When on vacation this past week we just happen to be in Utah for the Pioneer Day celebrations. What is Pioneer Day you ask? Oh! Good question. Here is the short answer:
Pioneer Day is a state holiday in Utah. It is celebrated on July 24 each year to commemorate the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
I have never been a big celebrator of this holiday, even when we lived in Utah. We never worked for Utah companies so my husband and I never got the day off anyway so to us it was just another day but with fireworks (after we just had one of those 20 days earlier), Jell-O salad (yuck!), and a parade. I always knew that there was a huge parade in downtown Salt Lake City, and that people line up for days before and sleep out in tents to get good spots, none of which sounds even the least bit appealing to me to be honest. I would rather sit at home and have the parade on the television, or um, not. Hey, I am just being honest. You know they say, “Who doesn’t like a good parade?” The answer is Kendra, that’s who.
But when I got the chance to go check out the floats BEFORE they were in the parade I totally got on board. They were all parked in a big conventional hall close to my parent’s house. They were on preview to the public for a couple of days before the parade. This way you can see them up close. When I found out that one of my friends was there with her kids I jumped in the car and went over to say hello and see the floats.
The floats were amazing. Really. I was impressed. They are all handmade by volunteers from the little church, neighborhood communities, and organizations in the state. The theme this year was Pushing Towards The Future, I think. It was slightly hard to tell as each float put their own spin on it. As we walked through we got to vote on favorites. I really appreciated the time and talent it took to get these huge floats together. Here are a few of my favorites.
Of course I couldn’t help but get a couple of me with some cute critters too.
I may or may not have accidentally kissed the ladybug while trying to take the picture and not get run over by a mom with a stroller, and 3 toddlers.
I will say that maybe, just maybe next time I am in town for this holiday I might at least be willing to watch the parade on television knowing how much work and effort go into the amazing floats. Maybe. (Hey, I am trying here.)
Do you love a parade? And if so, can you tell me why?