Paper birds, bugs, flowers and bees are not uncommon in the annual Days of '47 Youth Parade. Less common is the appearance of birds flapping their wings.
At least, that is what parade-watchers seemed to see this year during the 2007 youth parade in downtown Salt Lake City on July 21. Among the more than 5,000 children and youth in this year's event were the some 400 Primary children of the West Jordan Utah Cobble Creek Stake marching beside their float titled, "Faith Folds Us Together." The children, dressed in white T-shirts and bandanas of varying colors, carried origami seagulls or crickets, the brainchild of stake float committee chairwoman Ginger Brakke.
After weeks of preparation, and some 1,000 hours of work on the float also bearing origami crops beside a paper cabin, the senior and junior Primary of the Cobble Creek stake took up at least one block of parade space, led by stake President Craig E. Judd and his counselors, Paul R. Van Noy and J. Hunter Scott.
"I was impressed that our stake presidency led the way," said Amy Bailey, stake assistant float committee chairwoman. "Any time the priesthood is involved, there is a spirituality that develops."
And spirituality was the focus, she added, as they taught children to make origami seagulls and crickets to carry during the parade. Using Sharing Times and activities to prepare, Primary leaders taught the children over the last few months that the "miracle of the seagulls and the crickets testifies that Heavenly Father loves us in everyday things in life. We can ask Heavenly Father for help on anything," Sister Bailey added.
Despite 100-degree heat in downtown Salt Lake City, parade-watchers and organizers were thrilled with this year's turnout. Some 25 floats, many of them sponsored by stakes and wards, signed up for the parade, which included some 60 total entries.
Parade committee member Krista Hutchins said 25 floats is the most ever for the parade that has memories for many adults throughout the valley who marched the route as children.
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