Young at heart remember pioneers during parade

Approximately 4,500 Salt Lake area children participated in a July 15 parade that celebrates the coming of the pioneers to Utah.

"This parade gives children a chance to become involved in something they love," said Norma Jones, who has been the Days of '47 Children's Parade chairman for three years.Primary Gen. Pres. Michaelene P. Grassli and her second counselor, Ruth B. Wright, rode in the parade, while hundreds of adults were involved behind the scenes, observed Sister Jones.

"Stake and ward Primary presidents and leaders, parents and volunteers have really worked hard so these children could enjoy this parade," she said.

The children's parade has been a part of Salt Lake's Pioneer Days celebration for more than 35 years. This year there were 80 parade entries, most of which were sponsored by ward and stake Primary units.

In addition to miniature floats, the parade included bands, dignitaries, drill teams and an open section where children dressed up and marched the one-mile route with family and friends.

There are four categories that children can choose to enter: religious, patriotic, storybook and pioneers. No prizes are awarded for parade entries. Instead, an emphasis is placed on having fun and enjoying being involved with others, Sister Jones explained.

"This year we had honeybees, vegetables, firemen, little frog princes, a Statue of Liberty and pioneers," Sister Jones said. "We even had 288 members of Helaman's army.

"It thrills me to see these youngsters dressed up so beautifully and having so much fun," she continued. "It reminds me that we're all children at heart."