Summer activities such as going boating, attending state fairs and enjoying, or enduring, warm weather are pretty common throughout the United States. However, each state has its own unique traditions.

Here are six unique activities or summer traditions to experience in Utah:

1. Pioneer Day


This is a Utah state holiday. Observed on July 24, it is a celebration of the trek Latter Day Saints made into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. This was the location that Brigham Young and the pioneers would come to call home.

To anyone not from Utah, or that is not familiar with this, let me break it down. This day is a big deal to most Utahans. The holiday is celebrated every year with parades, city fairs and fireworks.

The fireworks show is a big event in most major cities, where lots of families and friends gather their lawn chairs and blankets in anticipation of a show that begins once the sun has set.

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Utahn's love their fireworks. The fourth of July can easily become a month long celebration with firework shows or neighbors' lighting sparklers. (Photo Illustration by Richard Campos / The Signpost)

2. Fireworks in July


During my first summer in Utah, I was not warned about the essentially month-long firework shows, not only put on by the city but also by neighbors.

I was at my apartment in Logan, near Utah State, and all of a sudden I heard loud cracks and pops and saw bright colorful lights dance against my bedroom wall.

I texted a friend, who was born and raised in the area, to which she responded, “This is only the beginning.” This is when I learned that this month long celebration was not just normal but expected.

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The view from a hike in the canyons of Zion National Park. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

3. Hiking trails


Now, I’m not saying no other state has trails to be hiked, but the list of hiking trails in Utah is long. Not only are there quite a few national parks here, but they all offer different experiences and range from easy to difficult.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention how these Utah trails have the most unique names. I mean what other places have trails named Spooky Gulch, Devil’s Garden or Sardine Peak?

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Box Elder Bugs... Box Elder County... Utah is Box Elder land. (Photo Illustration by Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

4. Boxelder bugs


These little insects hibernate when it is cold and come out when it warms back up, and, to be honest, if I was a bug I would do the same.

They are harmless in the sense that they usually don’t bite, but in large swarms or when they find their way into homes, they can become quite a nuisance.

I relate these bugs to Utah for a couple of biased reasons. One, in all of my years in California, I have never seen anything like them, and two, there is a Box Elder County in Utah, named rightfully so after the amount of Box Elder trees in the area. And guess where Boxelder bugs like to hang out? You guessed it, Boxelder trees.

5. Ice blocking


This one is interesting. I did not even know what this meant until I saw a literal block of ice, a towel and a large hill. I asked what all of these items were for, and one of my friends at the time explained that they were for ice blocking.

Basically, you slide down a hill on a block of ice.

It is a popular summer activity that I am specifically declaring as unique to Utah because really I do not know where else this is done.

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