Celebrations are set to kick off with Pioneer Day next week, commemorating the day the Mormon pioneers reached Salt Lake Valley. For anyone looking for entertainment that day, here are four family-friendly events held in Ogden and Salt Lake City.
Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo
When Utah residents think of July 24, it’s likely that they recall the adrenaline, laughter and historic pride of Ogden’s annual rodeo celebration.
Ranked among the top five large outdoor rodeos in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, this festival has grown to become one of the most popular Pioneer Day activities of the summer.
With a variety of events in store such as bull riding, fireworks and even the coronation of Miss Rodeo Utah herself, the celebration is sure to offer something for everyone to enjoy.
This year’s rodeo will take place at Ogden Pioneer Stadium from July 19 through July 24, with pre-rodeo events beginning at 6:30 p.m. and main exhibitions at 7:30 p.m.
Ticket prices vary depending on the date and location of seats. For more information regarding seating, ticket prices and dates you can visit http://ogdenpioneerdays.com/index.php/features-mainmenu-47.
Days of ‘47 Parade
At 9 a.m. on July 24, the streets of Salt Lake City will be lined with spectators eagerly awaiting the start of one of Utah’s staple Pioneer Day events: the Days of ‘47 Parade.
Known for its colorful floats, musical performances and rich history, the parade is a popular holiday activity that the entire family can appreciate.
The parade will kick off at South Temple and State Street, progress to 200 East, turn at 900 South and conclude on 600 East at Liberty Park.
To grab the best seats possible before the marching begins, patrons should pack their sleeping bags. Nights leading up to the parade are known to turn into massive campouts with crowds from across the region coming together for one big sleepover, further adding to the festive nature of the event.
A week prior to the parade, there will be a Float Preview Party where visitors can meet the creators of the Days of ‘47 Parade floats and get a behind-the-scenes look at their production. Previews will take place at Mountain America Expo Center from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and began on July 16 and and continue through July 17.
First Encampment Hike
For the fourteenth year in a row, Utah residents can walk a mile (or five) in the shoes of their ancestors in the Pioneer Day First Encampment Hike. This commemorative trek leads participants along the trail of the first pioneers who settled in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
Following Emigration Creek throughout the historic neighborhoods of Salt Lake City, the family-oriented hike guarantees its attendees both a fun and educational morning.
“We will have two rest stops on the way down from Donner Park to the First Encampment Park. At our first stop we will have an entertaining performance about pioneer firearms and we will provide Popsicles for all the hikers” hike chairman, Wayne Howcroft, said. “We always have some residents clap, wave and cheer us on, making it feel like a parade.”
Participants are encouraged to dress in period clothing, carry wagons or bring an American flag to add to the festive atmosphere.
At the conclusion of the hike, tours of the Wilford Woodruff farmhouse as well as an old-fashioned pioneer breakfast will be available. The hike begins at 9 a.m. on July 21.
Pioneer Day Concert With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Salt Lake City’s renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir will return on July 20 and 21 with their annual Pioneer Day concert celebration.
Taking place in the LDS Conference Center, the production will contain musical numbers from the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as well as special performances from guest artists Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly.
The concert will serve as a reunion for Morrison and Kelly after their shared performance in the 2015 Broadway musical production “Finding Neverland.” The two starred opposite each other in the roles of J.M. Barrie and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies.
The show is free admission; however, tickets are required and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis online or over the phone at 801-570-0080.
Guests can request up to four tickets per family, with admission being open to patrons eight years and older. There will also be a standby line on the day of the concert for those looking for last-minute seating.