You don’t have to don pioneer garb to celebrate Pioneer Day on the 24th — although, you wouldn’t be the only one dressed up.
For those who aren’t native Utahns and are confused about this other holiday that pops up later in July, Pioneer Day is a state holiday that celebrates the exodus of thousands of early pioneers who trekked to Utah while pulling handcarts or driving wagons. The holiday is celebrated on July 24, because that’s the day in 1847 when Brigham Young and a company of Mormon pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley.
Utah Valley residents can venture up to Salt Lake City for the Days of ’47 rodeo at the Energy Solutions Arena each evening during the week of the holiday. Or stop by the sunrise service at 7 a.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square before enjoying the Days of ’47 parade starting at 9 a.m. downtown.
For those who want to stay closer to home, there is plenty to see and do. Utah County is the place to be on Pioneer Day.
Start your day by running or walking from the Provo LDS temple to the Provo City Center Temple in a free 5K called the Temple to Temple Run. Or if you’d rather take it easy and eat, head to the town of Cedar Fort for a chuck wagon breakfast and other activities, including a parade, carnival, kiddie rodeo and dance.
Take the kids to explore the Pioneer Village in Provo, and check out the Pioneer Day extravaganza next door at North Park for food, live music, games and crafts, live animals and a farmer’s market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Foam day in Lehi is making a comeback this year from 1–3 p.m. at Lehi Sports Park, 2000 W. 700 South. Go early for the inflatables and vendors, and grab a slice of free watermelon after the foam sprays.
Mapleton has a slew of activities including a flag ceremony, 5K race, breakfast, parade, entertainment and inflatables, dinner in the park and fireworks at Ira Allen Park, 1728 S. 800 West.
Spanish Fork Fiesta Days lasts through Aug. 2, and with the variety of activities, something is bound to tickle your fancy. The Thursday lineup includes a 10K road race, breakfast, the “Speedy Spaniard” mile run, a craft fair and quilt show, a grand parade and a carnival, museum tours and a rodeo, all topped off with a fireworks spectacular.