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Utahns celebrate Pioneer Day with parade, fireworks

By Shara Park | Posted - Jul. 25, 2011 at 11:52 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- People from around the state flocked to downtown Salt Lake City for the annual Days of '47 Parade, with thousands of spectators turning out to see some really impressive floats and bands.

The streets of downtown Salt Lake were lined with people filled with excitement Monday morning to celebrate Utah's early heritage. For many, the parade and weekend events make the Pioneer Day celebration the biggest holiday in Utah.

"It has the passion of a sporting event in Utah -- we all love sports," said KSL's Tom Kirkland. "It's one of our highlights of the year."

For thousands, the Pioneer Day events started with the Deseret News 10K run.

"It's just great to run on the roads I grew up running on," said Patrick, the 10K winner.

But for others, it was waking up along the Days of '47 Parade route.

"It's just a lot of fun staying out all night watching for the parade," said parade watcher Wendy Dang.

Fireworks Locations:
  • Tremonton: Tremonton City Days, Jeanie Stevens Park, 650 N. 1000 West; "The Fender Benders" concert
  • Logan: Willow Park, 500 W. 700 South; Peter Breinholt concert
  • North Logan: Elk Ridge Park, 1100 East 2500 North
  • Cottonwood Heights: Butlerville Days, Butler Park, 7500 S. 2300 East 9:40 p.m.
  • Ogden: Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, Ogden Pioneer Stadium, 668 17th St.
  • Salt Lake City: Salt Lake Bees Game, Spring Mobile Park, games begins at 7:05pm
  • Salt Lake City: The Native American Celebration Powwow, Liberty Park, 1100 S. 600
  • Spanish Fork: Fiesta Days Rodeo, Fairgrounds, 475 S Main
  • West Valley City: Days of '47 Rodeo, Maverick Center

The Crampton family came all the way from Florida to watch Monday's parade.

"I've been telling my little girl about this parade ever since she was born," said J.J. Crampton. "So we came out just for this parade."

"I didn't get it. I didn't understand it," said Kevin Crampton. "But I get it now. I understand. It's great."

One of the Crampton's favorite floats was the float designed by the LDS Herriman Stake, which was a seven foot horse and boots. The float took seven gallons of glue and 80 pounds of glitter, but the effort paid off; the float won best theme, which is what makers were hoping for.

"I am so excited we won the theme award, which is one of the things we hoped to get out of this," said designer Kenny Owens.

And while the parade was being enjoyed by thousands, others have already begun picking out prime real estate for the Liberty Park fireworks show Monday night. For some families, the more than 24 hour long campout in the park has become a family tradition.

"It's not just a fireworks show, it's the best fireworks show," said Julia Hamberlin.

Monday night's skies will be filled with several fireworks show going on throughout the state, but Liberty Park will host one of the biggest in the state.

Email: spark@ksl.com

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Shara Park

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