`Rendezvous' to re-create life on pioneer trail

For those who could not travel the pioneer trail, but who still have a desire to taste life on the frontier, a simulation of the trail - with some of the dramas and difficulties - is being staged on the campus of BYU.

It's called the Pioneer Rendezvous, one of the principal activities of the Church-sponsored Sesquicentennial activities. The Rendezvous includes nine activities aimed at re-creating life on the pioneer trail.It will take place July 24-25 on the BYU campus at the Deseret Towers Field and the Harman Conference Center. Admission is free. Activities run 2-7 p.m. each day.

The Rendezvous was organized in conjunction with the Sesquicentennial Spectacular, as a means of helping members of the Church gain appreciation for the life and faith of the pioneers.

"To watch the Rendezvous unfold has been a sweet experience," explained Anne Seamons, who chairs the committee with her husband, David.

"The celebration of the pioneers is really a celebration of Christ, and their faith in Him. This is not just about the pioneers, it is about His power that sustained them. Whether members have pioneer ancestors or not, they can enjoy this celebration of Christ."

The Rendezvous is organized in a fair-like fashion where visual displays and demonstrations will simulate the trek.

Such displays include a pioneer trek where participants will experience the conditions of the trail, including pulling a handcart through soft sand, over sharp rocks, across a river, and cooking over a fire.

Other displays include:

A frontier town with an 80-foot facade replicating an actual town in the 1800s with a gun shop, leather shop and general store.

A pioneer camp where participants can greet some of those who completed the re-enactment of the pioneer trail.

An indian village, which will portray the lives, customs and traditions of the people who inhabited the land when the pioneers arrived.

A 30-minute historical Church video, featuring the First Presidency, to be shown in the auditorium of the Harman Conference Center.

Family photo corner where participants can be photographed with a pioneer backdrop and stagecoach.

The most popular activity, however, is expected to be the ancestral pioneer past activity where a special computer program will track pioneer ancestors.

By submitting names of an individual and parent, participants will be able to determine if any ancestors traveled the pioneer trail, as well as the company they traveled with, and possibly biographical and pictorial information as well.

This activity, said Sister Seamons, is "guaranteed to quicken your heartbeat as you see the name and face of one of these valiant early Saints who could be your relative."

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