From dragons to spaceships, covered wagons to historical military vehicles, the Days of '47 parade held on July 24 in downtown Salt Lake City had something to entertain everyone. The annual event commemorating Pioneer Day was attended by hundreds of people that lined the parade route.
The theme of the parade was, "Forging New Frontiers!" The parade showcased entries from many groups in the area, including the military, the police, cultural groups, colleges and churches.
"We get business floats, antique cars, high school bands. We try to get bands from all over the valley to participate. It’s always fun to see a kid learning and doing well with their craft," said Jodene Smith, parade co-chair. "The first parade started in 1849 and it’s been consecutive minus the war years," she said.
This year marks the 168th anniversary of the Mormon pioneers' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.
"We like to see the prophet and the apostles, and it’s neat to see all the creations of the floats too," said Myrna Clark, whose family had been camping on the parade route since 5 a.m. Thursday, July 23.
President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, led the procession of dignitaries featured in the parade.
For many families in Salt Lake City, the Days of '47 parade is a family tradition. Sonasi Pouha, who had camped out on the parade route overnight, said, "My parents brought me when I was little,."
Feai Muitalo said that she and her family love the parade not only because they respect the pioneers that first entered the valley, but, "it’s the fun activities for our families and it’s a good outing; we love camping and this is our camping spot."
“It’s great to honor our pioneers and our country," said Bev Workman. This was her first year staying overnight for a good spot to see the parade. "My husband usually runs the marathon, so we’ve brought the kids down pretty much every year."
"We just love to celebrate this day," said Joyce Hancock who traveled to Salt Lake City from Tooele, Utah. "We have lots of pioneer heritage and it means a lot to us. ... We’re glad to get together with family."