Four score and 92 years ago, (that’s 172 years ago if you missed the four score part) the Mormon Pioneers made their grand entrance into the Salt Lake Valley alongside their fearless (and feared) leader, Brigham Young. Ever since then all Utahns, LDS or not, have celebrated this day with more pride than the Fourth of July. In a way, we get two Fourth of Julys here in Utah. And we’ve got treks, rodeos and parades galore, the pioneer descendants know how to throw a celebration. Grab your bonnets and get to one of these Pioneer Day events this year!
July 20 · First Encampment Hike
Yes you can actually experience part of a Pioneer’s trek into Utah, don’t worry this won’t be like the Oregon Trail game- you will make it out without dying from typhoid out of the blue. Put on your best buckskin trousers and get to trekking. The 5 mile hike begins at 7 a.m. at Donner Park (2770 E. and 990 South, east of Hogle Zoo) and ends at First Encampment Park (1700 South and 500 East), near the site where the first-to-arrive pioneers camped in 1847.
July 19-24 Days of ’47 Rodeo · Utah State Fair Park
The Days of ’47 Rodeo is one of the most popular Pioneer Day events during the 24th of July Celebrations. This year marks the second year of the $1 million rodeo in Utah. The rodeo contestants will compete in multiple games including bareback riding, bull riding, barrel racing and more. The rodeo starts at 8pm but families can get in on the fun early when the park opens at 4pm at the Family Fun Zone, hosted by Young Living Farms. The Fun Zone features a free petting zoo, mechanical bull rides, cultural exhibits, free country music and more!
July 22-23 · Float Preview Party
If you want to see all of the floats up close and personal, stop by the float preview party. The designers and technicians will be there to show you the behind the scenes of float construction and how it all comes together before the big day. The floats will be inside the Mountain America Expo Center, formerly known as South Towne Expo Center, on 9575 South State St. from 11am-9pm, Monday and Tuesday before the Pioneer Day events on July 24th.
July 24 · Deseret News Marathon
For all you runners out there, Deseret News is hosting their 50th annual Marathon. 5k, 10k, Half and Full Marathons will be held the morning before the parade. This Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier so the runners are sure to impress those watching from the sidelines. We will be rooting for you, from our beds. For more information about the race and registration click here.
July 24 · Days of ’47 Parade
The days of ’47 Parade starts at 9am in downtown Salt Lake, running across 200 East to Liberty Park. The Parade floats, some religious some not, are sure to entertain with horses, clowns and music. You can try and snag a spot downtown along the trail or you can view it from the Leonardo Museum where they will also be hosting Pioneer Day activities during the parade.
July 24 · Antelope Island
If you’re wanting to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city Antelope Island will be celebrating Pioneer Day in true pioneer fashion from 12-4pm. You can learn how to spin wool, roll a hoop and much more while you enjoy the beauty of Antelope Island.
July 24 · Liberty Park
To experience the culture and history of Utah’s Native America stop by Liberty Park this year. Native American Celebration in the Park, NACIP, is hosting their 25th Annual NACIP Powwow and Festival at Liberty Park. Singing, dancing, drum performances and more will be being happening in honor of Utah’s Native Americans.
After the Powwow, enjoy fireworks show at the park. Be sure to get there early to snag yourself spot at the park and enjoy the annual fireworks show. The fireworks show will begin around 10pm. Click here for more.
July 24 · Pie and Beer Day
Maybe not your mother’s traditional Pioneer Day, but it’s 2019! Get with it.
KUAA, alongside Beer Bar, is hosting their annual Pie and Beer Day. After watching the parade go grab some pie and beer, but not too much because you have to be at work Thursday remember?! Pie and Beer Day debauchery will be running from 2-6pm. Click here for more information- they will be announcing the pie and beer pairings soon.
Tinwell is also hosting a Pie and Beer Day for you, but hold the apple- they are serving up pizza pie from 4pm-1am! DJ, Beer, Pizza, what more could you ask for on a lovely Wednesday afternoon? Click here for more information for their celebrations.
For the official Days of ’47 Lineup go here.
To see some real Pioneer History you should also visit This Is The Place Heritage Park.
For more stuff going on in Utah click here.