See the floats created by Church members to honor pioneers in the Days of ‘47 Parade

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley volunteered hundreds of hours this year to create floats that celebrate the pioneer heritage of Utah as part of the Days of ’47 parade. 

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who was the parade’s grand marshal, led the parade in a classic red Mustang with his wife, Sister Melanie Rasband, and other family members.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waves during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Elder Rasband was this year's grand marshal.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waves during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Elder Rasband was this year’s grand marshal. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

More than a dozen local stakes prepared floats for the annual parade, held on the streets of downtown Salt Lake City.

Members of the participating stakes got creative as they designed and created floats to reflect the theme of the Days of ’47 celebration this year: “Pioneer Spirit – Alive Today!” 

Read more: Commit to pioneerlike faithfulness and ‘drive on,’ challenges Elder Evans at Sunrise Service

Each float reflected a unique interpretation of the theme, from honoring pioneer women, to paying tribute to the Church’s humanitarian program, to a depiction of a riverboat that was integral to the growth of Nauvoo, along the Mississippi River, in the early days of the Church.

The Draper Utah Stake float moves down 200 East during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won both the People’s Choice Award and the Children’s Choice Award.
The Draper Utah Stake float moves down 200 East during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won both the People’s Choice Award and the Children’s Choice Award. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The Midvale Utah Stake’s float featured two giant papier-mâché puppets, a design that was deliberately chosen to symbolize how to keep traditions alive.

“Just as puppeteers bring breath and movement and life to puppets — if we’re going to keep the pioneer spirit alive, we have to breathe breath into traditions with movement today,” explained Chad Erekson, a member of the Midvale Utah Stake.

The Midvale Utah Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Hilda Erickson Award for showing the pioneer legacy of determination and adaptability along a new frontier.
The Midvale Utah Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Hilda Erickson Award for showing the pioneer legacy of determination and adaptability along a new frontier. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Salt Lake Granite Stake chose to pay homage to past and present pioneer spirit by creating a scale model of the Salt Lake Temple. One end of the float is a representation of the original construction of the temple, and the other reflects the ongoing temple renovations.

Darrell Newbold, a member of the Nibley Park Ward and the float’s architect, hopes that when parade viewers see the float, “they have a testimony of the temple, of what goes on in it and how the pioneers brought it forth. … The pioneer spirit is still living because of what they did.” 

The Salt Lake Granite Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Spirit of Faith Award for best depiction of a religious theme.
The Salt Lake Granite Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Spirit of Faith Award for best depiction of a religious theme. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
A woman marches with the Sons of Utah Pioneers in the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
A woman marches with the Sons of Utah Pioneers in the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Parade entrants make their way south along 200 East during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
Parade entrants make their way south along 200 East during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Cariama Kallon-Olayemi dances and sings as a marching band passes by during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
Cariama Kallon-Olayemi dances and sings as a marching band passes by during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Days of ’47 Parade kicks off in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
The Days of ’47 Parade kicks off in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
A rider from the Consulate of Mexico in Salt Lake City rides a horse during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
A rider from the Consulate of Mexico in Salt Lake City rides a horse during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
A dancer from the Consulate of Mexico in Salt Lake City dances during the Days of ’47 Parade on Friday, July 23, 2021.
A dancer from the Consulate of Mexico in Salt Lake City dances during the Days of ’47 Parade on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
The South Jordan Garden Park Stake makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Sweepstakes Award, scoring the highest in all five elements of judging — theme, aesthetics, originality, craftsmanship and special effects.
The South Jordan Garden Park Stake makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Sweepstakes Award, scoring the highest in all five elements of judging — theme, aesthetics, originality, craftsmanship and special effects. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Days of ’47 royalty float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float received Judges Choice Award.
The Days of ’47 royalty float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float received Judges Choice Award. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Bagpipers march in the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
Bagpipers march in the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
The KSL 5 TV float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Queen’s Award.
The KSL 5 TV float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Queen’s Award. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The South Jordan Midas Creek Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Community Award.
The South Jordan Midas Creek Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Community Award. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, left, waves as she and her husband, Kyle LaMalfa, take part in the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, left, waves as she and her husband, Kyle LaMalfa, take part in the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
The city Tooele's float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
The city Tooele’s float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The Cottonwood Heights Utah Brighton Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Utah Award for the best illustration of the state’s uniqueness, special qualities and diversity.
The Cottonwood Heights Utah Brighton Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Utah Award for the best illustration of the state’s uniqueness, special qualities and diversity. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The West Jordan Utah Westbrook Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Pioneers Award.
The West Jordan Utah Westbrook Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Pioneers Award. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Spectators watch the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
Spectators watch the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
The West Jordan Utah Jordan Oaks Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Award.
The West Jordan Utah Jordan Oaks Stake float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Award. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
The city of South Jordan's float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Governor's Award.
The city of South Jordan’s float makes its way along the Days of ’47 Parade route in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. The float won the Governor’s Award. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
A group of sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cheer for the entries during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021.
A group of sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cheer for the entries during the Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 23, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News