Pioneer Day celebrations popping
up all over Sanpete County in the next week
While Salt Lake City is known for its Days of ’47 celebration on July 24, the combined festivities of seven local communities honoring Sanpete County’s pioneer heritage perhaps has the big city beat.
From Fairview to Centerfield, the Pioneer Day holiday—and the days leading up to it—will be filled with hometown parades, rodeos, community dinners, fireworks and old-fashioned fun. Many of the activities are free or are provided at family-friendly prices so all can enjoy the celebrations.
Following is an outline of activities by community. See the calendar and ads in this section for more detail.
The celebration will be held at Anthony’s Flat on July 24 this year. Children’s games will begin at 5 p.m. and at 6 p.m. the Axtell LDS Ward will provide the meal. The Young Women’s organization will hold a small bake sale as a fundraiser after dinner.
Following the meal, the Axtell Walking Stick will be presented to an individual or individuals who have been chosen as “someone who has been helpful or of benefit to the community for a long period of time,” Bishop Russell Otten said.
The community celebration and the award of the walking stick have been going on for at least 15 to 20 years.
Taking place next Monday evening at the park adjacent to the LDS ward chapel, Centerfield’s celebration kicks off with the parade, which has cash prizes for winning entries.
A dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs and sides will follow. (Donations are being accepted to cover the cost).
There will also be an obstacle course, bounce house and kids games, along with a prize drawing, before the evening concludes with a fireworks show.
The celebration in Fairview is already in full swing with various games last weekend and Lace Days at the Fairview Museum last Monday.
Tonight there will be an ice breaker at the ball fields at 7 p.m. where community members can gather, enjoy some watermelon and watch the kids’ games, followed by a youth dance.
Three parades over the next several days are bound to attract not just local residents but visitors from neighboring towns. The horse parade will be Saturday at 6 p.m. on State Street. The next Tuesday, July 24, and the kids parade begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Pioneer Day parade, typically one of the largest parades in the county each year, at 11 a.m.
The Fairview Rodeo Arena will be humming over the next several days. Tomorrow night there will be a kid’s rodeo at 7. A regular Professional Cowboys Rodeo Association (PRCA) rodeo will be held on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and an ATV rodeo on Monday 7 p.m.
There will also be an ATV ride for food Saturday at 8 a.m. and a DUP program at the Rock Church on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
On Tuesday the celebration ramps into high gear. Beginning at 7:30 a.m. local husband-and-wife (or two-member) teams can compete against their neighbors in Scrambalooza, a six-event competition now in its fourth year. Events include basketball, horseshoes, volleyball, tennis, ring toss and Frisbee throw.
In addition to the parades, there will be a day of fun at the city park with the fireman’s breakfast, the EMT barbecue, old-fashioned-games, a vintage car show at the Fairview Museum and Fairview Idol competition at the dance hall.
Fayette’s festivities will take place this Saturday, July 21. Typically, just about everyone in town joins in the 6:30 a.m. 5K, biking, running or walking their way around the course.
Then the Fayette LDS Ward Boy Scout troop will host a fundraiser breakfast followed by the hometown parade, which will feature local children who have decorated their bicycles, Boy Scouts, representatives of the LDS Young Men and Young Women’s organizations, along with fire trucks and possibly a float or two from nearby communities. This year, the parade time has been moved to 10 a.m.
The Fayette Ward will provide the meat for the potluck community lunch at the park afterward.
In Mayfield, anyone who has a float is welcome to just show up to participate in Tuesday’s parade, publicity chair Lee Sorensen said.
There are three great prizes for the ever-popular Wild River Duck Race, in which rubber ducks with numbers on them float down 12-Mile Creek. The prizes are a big-screen TV, a $1,000 shopping spree at Gunnison Market and $1,000 in meat from South Sanpete Pack.
Sorensen said the Mayfield Lions, sponsor of the race, usually sells 1,200 to 1,500 tickets at $5. Proceeds go to fund improvements in the town park.
This year there will also be a live auction at 1 p.m. to raise money for the improvements. Prizes include quilts and pictures.
There will be activities during the day at the city park, including the greased pig scramble, which is great fun for kids to participate in and for everyone else to watch.
Spring City’s celebration kicks off tomorrow evening with the popular family street dance. For Saturday night’s concert in the park, Ogden band Ophir Creek is returning with its special blend of what band members call “pop bluegrass.”
“They’re just a fun group of guys,” celebration chairwoman Yvonne Wright said.
On Sunday evening, Gary Parnell has organized talented local musicians to take part in the traditional old-time gospel music revival.
The traditional “Saga of Spring City” a historical musical about this community, will be held Monday night, along with an ice cream social.
Something new for this year’s July 24 celebration will be a children’s sidewalk chalk art contest for kids up to age 12. (The chalk will be provided).
There’s something for everyone, especially people with an appetite, at Sterling’s old-fashioned celebration, which includes a breakfast sponsored by the Sterling LDS Ward bishopric, a pie-eating contest, a DUP bake sale, a Dutch oven dessert potluck, and a hot dog and marshmallow roast.
The active can enjoy the 5K, three-on-three basketball and tug of war, while the competitive can sign up to beat their neighbors in the horseshoe and corn hole tournaments.
And after all that food they will be able to dance it off with the Snow College Western Swing Club.
The fireworks that night will be “the best show they’ve put on,” according to Yvonne Larsen, one of the organizers.