Deseret News archives

Although July 24th is a celebration of the anniversary of the day the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, the festivities held around the state of Utah are full of fun for everyone. While many cities and towns celebrate with the typical parade and fireworks, several other towns have their own long-standing traditions that are unexpected, but exciting all the same. The following is a list of just some of the festivities and Pioneer Day celebrations in Utah. For more information about events in your area visit your local city website. Also visit: DaysOf27.com, EnjoyUtah.org and TheCityCafe. To see other festivals going on in the month of July, visit: 2012 Summer Festivals around the state of Utah in July.

Days of '47 All Horse Parade
Deseret News archives

Where: Sandy, Salt Lake County
When: July 10 at 7 p.m.

It's long been a tradition to celebrate the pioneers who settled the state of Utah, but our four legged friends who helped build, cultivate and take those pioneers between settlements in Utah often get overlooked.

The city of Sandy celebrates with an all horse parade, where only horse related entries are allowed, that starts at the Sandy City Hall.

For more information visit: SaltLakeCity.About.com

Days of '47 Pops Concert
Deseret News archives

Where: Abravenel Hall, Salt Lake City, Salt County
When: July 13, 14 7:30 p.m.

The Choral Arts Society of Utah Master Chorale and the West Valley Symphony of Utah will come together for two nights of musical magic. Conducted by Donny Gilbert, this musical concoction will feature Nathan Osmond.

The performances are free, but tickets are required. To get tickets, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to POPS TICKETS, PO BOX 2623, Salt Lake City, UT 84110, or visit Daynes Music, 6935 S. State St. Limit 6 tickets per request.

For more information, visit: SaltLakeCity.About.com.

Youth Parade and Youth Festival
Deseret News archives

Where: Salt Lake City and County Buildings, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 14 at 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Beginning the celebration with a parade, which starts 600 E. and 500 S., runs west on 500 S. to 200 E. and ends at the City and County Building, 200 E. 450 S., this youth festival is just the thing to warm up for the big parade on the 24th.

For more information, visit: SaltLakeCity.About.com.

Float Preview Party
Deseret News archives

Where: South Town Expo, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 16-17 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Residents have the chance to vote for their favorite floats during the Float Preview Party. Two awards are given, the "People Choice" and "Children's Choice" awards.

And on top of that, this party provides attendees with the opportunity to see the floats up close and personal before the big parade.

For more information, visit: SaltLakeCity.About.com.

Spring City Pioneer Day Celebration
Deseret News archives

Where: Spring City, Sanpete County
When: July 17-24

This Pioneer Day celebration is full of the typical activities, including: kids carnival, parade, dutch oven, 5K/10K and even a dance in the streets. But there will also be softball and volley tournaments, a horseshoe tournament and a free concert in the park.

For more information, visit: Sanpete.com.

Days of '47 Rodeo
Deseret News archives

Where: Maverik Center, West Valley City, Salt Lake County
When: July 19-24 at 7 p.m.

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a long running tradition in Utah. And this rodeo not only draws one of the largest crowds in Utah, but it also brings world champion riders and stock.

While the rodeo is family centered, each night will have a different focus and sponsor. Thursday, July 19 will be KSL Family Night and Saturday, July 21 will be Z104 Pink Night, where attendees and participants can show their support for those in the fight against breast cancer.

For more information, visit: Daysof47.com.

Pioneer Day Concert with Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Deseret News archives

Where: LDS Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 20-21 at 8 p.m.

In celebration of the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley, this traditional concert is continuing in 2012.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's concert, featuring Katherine Jenkins, the British singing sensation, is entitled “The Joy of Song.”

The concert is free and standby tickets are usually available.

For more information, visit: MormonTabernacleChoir.org.

Bountiful Handcart Days
Deseret News archives

Where: Bountiful City Park, Bountiful, Davis County
When: July 20-21

With a theme of "They did not doubt," this heritage celebration will feature 2000 stripling warriors, led by Bountiful Stake President, Cory Hanks, who will be dressed as Heleman, in the annual grand parade. The warriors will come from all over the area.

During the two-day celebration there will also be entertainment, games and food in the park.

For more information, visit: HandcartDays.org.

First Encampment Hike
Deseret News archives

Where: Donner Park, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 21 at 7 a.m.

This five mile hike, which follows the footsteps of the 1847 Mormon pioneers begins at Donner Park, follows Emigration Creek and winds throughout Salt Lake City neighborhoods.

The hike ends at First Encampment Park, where pioneers stopped on July 22, 1847. Participants are encouraged to bring an American flag and traditional pioneer apparel.

For more information, visit: SaltLakeCity.About.com.

Brother Brigham's Ball
Deseret News archives

Where: This is the Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 21 from 6-8 p.m.

During Brigham Young's time as governor of Utah and leader of the LDS church, dances and balls were a frequent occurrence, and this year's ball will bring history and fun alive at This is the Place Heritage Park.

Attendees are encourages to wear Pioneer-era dress, though it is not required to join in the fun.

For more information, visit: ThisIsThePlace.org.

Wellington Pioneer Days
Deseret News archives

Where: Wellington, Carbon County
When: July 20-21

In its 22 year, this pioneer celebration tradition has some old west fun for the whole family.

On Friday night there will be a dinner catered by the Cowboy Club, and the following day residents can enjoy a parade, games, booths and food.

For more information, visit: VisitUtah.com.

Levan Pioneer Days
Deseret News archives

Where: Levan, Juab County
When: July 20-21

Although technology may have changed the town of Levan, the 24th of July traditions have continued to play a major role. A parade that started out with floats atop covered wagons and gradually shifted and become one centered around the children.

The theme of their pioneer celebration is "Pioneering the Wild West." And it will include an art show, craft and fair vendors, greased pig chase, rodeo, dodgeball tournament, trap and archery shoot and a rodeo and fireworks.

For more information, visit: LevanTown.org.

Mona Pioneer Day Celebration
Deseret News archives

Where: Mona, Juab County
When: July 21

This town may be small but their celebrations are big. The day-long festivities will start with a flag raising and race.

Throughout the day there will be games like sumo wrestling and the dunk tank. And as the afternoon approaches, there will be a watermelon eating contest and tug-of-war.

The day will end with a firework display, put on by the volunteer fire department.

For more information, visit: NephiTimesNews.com.

Sterling Pioneer Day Celebration
Deseret News archives

Where: Sterling, Sanpete County
When: July 21

The grills won't open until 11:30 a.m., but the fun starts long before that. A breakfast and parade will start off the day, and following the parade will be the Utah National Guard Bucking Bull and Willie the Clown will make an appearance.

In the afternoon there will be lots of activities to enjoy, such as, horseshoe tournament, watermelon bust and a dutch-oven cook-off.

For more information, visit: Sanpete.com.

Deseret News Marathon
Deseret News archives

Where: Big Mountain, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 24 at 5:30 a.m.

A Boston Marathon qualifier and USATF sanctioned, this 32-year-old race is one of the oldest west of the continental divide.

Following the route pioneers traveled when they entered the valley, it begins at
Big Mountain above Emigration Canyon and joins the parade route on 200 East.

The 10K begins at 6 a.m. at Research Park on Chipeta Way on the University of Utah campus and the 5K begins at 7 a.m. at the Energy Solutions Arena.

For more information, visit: DeseretNewsMarathon.com.

Sunrise Service
Deseret News archives

Where: Tabernacle at Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 24 at 7 a.m.

Selections of patriotic and religious arrangements that pay honor to the pioneers who settled this valley will be featured at this year's Sunrise Service.

The service is presented by the Sons of Utah Pioneers, and is a great way to start of the 24th of July celebrations. The Tabernacle organist and a combined choir from across the valley will provide the music.

No tickets are required.

For more information, visit: DaysOf47.com.

Days of '47 Parade
Deseret News archives

Where: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 24 at 9 a.m.

After a long journey, Brigham Young and fellow pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. And only two years later the tradition of this annual parade began.

It was first known as the "Pioneer Days Parade." However, the name changed to the "Covered Wagon Days Parade" from 1931 to 1946. On its centennial celebration in 1947 the name changed to its current one, and has remained so ever since.

The parade will start on South Temple and State Street, head east to 200 East, then turn south on 900 South and turn east, trekking towards Liberty Park at 600 East.

For more information, visit: DaysOf47.com.

Native American Celebration
Deseret News archives

Where: Liberty Park, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 24 at 7 a.m.

Beginning early in the morning and continuing into the evening, after the fireworks have all gone out, this celebration of Native American heritage includes food, dancing and an intertribal powwow.

There will be arts and crafts and food booths, and the evening will end with a firework show.

For more information, visit: NACIP.com.

Pioneer Days at This is the Place Heritage Park
Deseret News archives

Where: This is the Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 24

A park centered around the Mormon pioneer heritage, This is the Place is the the perfect place to spend the 24th of July.

With traditional pioneer games, old pioneer shops, a country breakfast, pioneer parade and more, this park brings the Utah pioneer history alive and provides fun for the whole family.

For more information, visit: ThisIsThePlace.org.

Salt Lake Bees vs. Sacramento River Cats
Deseret News archives

Where: Spring Mobile Ballpark, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 24 at 7:05 p.m.

As the great American pastime, baseball is a great way to celebrate a day focused on heritage.

The Salt Lake Bees will be playing the Sacramento River Cats on Pioneer Day and following the game there will be a firework display.

For more information, visit: MILB.com.

Fireworks at Liberty Park
Deseret News archives

Where: Liberty Park, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County
When: July 24 at around 10 p.m.

As with many celebrations, the perfect end to a fun filled day is with a firework show.

And claiming to be the largest Pioneer Day display, the Liberty Park firework show will begin right after the Native American Celebration, which should be around 10 p.m. The show is free.

For more information, visit: NACIP.com

Pioneer Day Celebration at Hyde Park
Deseret News archives

Where: Hyde Park, Cache County
When: July 24

Starting the day with a flag ceremony and breakfast in the park (Elk Ridge Park) this pioneer day celebration not only has your typical Independence Day fun with a parade, games, food and fireworks, but there will also be historical displays, a movie in the park and a scout charity dinner.

For more information, visit: CI.North-Logan.Ut.Us.

Toquerville Pioneer Day
Deseret News archives

Where: Toquerville, Washington County
When: July 24

The small town that began as a Mormon mission will be sure to include the recounting of stories and history as part of the Pioneer Day celebration.

There will also be games, face painting and good food.

For more information, visit: Toquerville.org.

Escalante 24th of July Celebration
Deseret News archives

Where: Escalante, Garfield
When: July 24

Along with being home to the well known Grand Staircase, Escalante also has many historic pioneer settlements. Each year they celebrate their heritage that is as rich and majestic as the beautiful area surrounding it. Named after one of the Franciscan priests (Escalante) who, with Dominques, while searching for a route from California to New Mexico and lead an expedition through the area of now Escalante.

To celebrate their history, there will be tours, outdoor recreation, food and entertainment.

For more information, visit: AllBryce.com.

Fairview Pioneer Days
Deseret News archives

Where: Fairview, Sanpete County
When: July 24

City wide wake-up, by the local firemen, will get this Pioneer Day celebration going at 6 a.m. The rest of the day will be filled with activities like a 5K fun run, pioneer breakfast, craft fair, kids parade, antique car show and even a Fairview Idol show. The day will end with a crash at the 28th Annual Demolition Derby to be held at the rodeo grounds.

For more information, visit: FairviewCity.com.

Taste of the Town
Deseret News archives

Where: Layton, Davis County
When: July 24 at 7 p.m.

With 24 restaurants lined up to participate in Layton's Taste of the Town, this Pioneer Day activity should provide participants with the best food in town.

Tickets cost $6 and can be purchased at the Layton Hills Mall. Following the tasting there will be a free concert at the Kenley Amphitheater, "Riders in the Sky."

For more information, visit: SaltLakeGuide.com.

Cedar City Parade
Deseret News archives

Where: Cedar City, Iron County
When: July 24

Because of dry conditions and fireworks restrictions, Cedar City won't have a fireworks show for their 2012 Pioneer Day celebration, however, there will still be a parade followed by activities in the Main Street Park.

The celebration is sponsored by several LDS wards, as well as the Cedar City Sons of the Utah Pioneers.

For more information, visit: CedarCity.org.

Logan's 24th of July
Deseret News archives

Where: Logan, Cache County
When: July 24

Along with all the typical Pioneer Day fun, the Logan 24th of July celebration will also be bursting with some not-so-typical fun, like the candy cannon, which will go off every hour, on the hour. There will also be Hula Halau O Kaahumanu entertainment, a pioneer playland, watermelon eating contest and more.

And before the firework show, Nathan Osmond will perform.

For more information, visit: LoganUtah.org.