"Every child just loves a parade!" declared Beck Edwards, chairwoman of the 2005 Days of '47 Youth Parade, after some 5,000 children, youth, parents and leaders walked several blocks in downtown Salt Lake City in the annual Pioneer Day event.
"(Who) doesn't love marching along with people who are like-minded," Sister Edwards said. "(It's) your history, your legacy, your culture, whether that's your pioneer heritage from 1847 or your Vietnamese heritage from three years ago. And we run the gamut."
That sprinkling of legacy reflected this year's Days of '47 Youth Parade theme, "Our Pioneer Heritage — A Living Legacy." Estimates at the close of the Saturday, July 23, event are that some 12,000 lined the parade route to cheer participants on. "Fabulous" is the way Sister Edwards described this year's turnout.
The chairwoman was also pleased with the response to the first festival held at the end of the parade route, which she called "a thank you to the participants and the children of the valley." The festival included booths and some rides. One booth from the Utah Highway Safety Commission had safety displays. A local business handed out miniature work aprons and let the children and youth make picture frames and little boats.
Whatever the background, Sister Edwards explained, all participants seemed to enjoy the festivities. The Days of '47 is expanding, she added, "to include pioneers from all walks of life and all cultural backgrounds."
The characteristics of courage, commitment and dedication, she said, are common in all pioneering groups.
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