Today, July 24, is Pioneer Day. It is one of the things that makes the state of Utah unique. To learn about the history of the holiday, click here.
This state holiday commemorates the arrival of Brigham Young and the first of the Mormon pioneers in Utah. It’s almost like 4th of July all over again except with a lot more festivities during the week leading up to the holiday. Like:
- Fireworks going off outside my bedroom window three days before and three days after.
- The Days of ’47 Rodeo which goes on in several cities.
- Getting the day off!
- My favorite part, the parade.
In fact I was part of the parade back in 2010 when mom’s friend called her up the night before and asked if I want to be in it. Gladly, I said. I was way too excited to sleep that night, wondering whether or not I will see myself on TV or if any of my friends will be there on the side of the road watching.
The next morning, since we live about 30 minutes away, we had to get up extremely early like 6:30 am because we need to make it there by 7:30 am not to mention the time it’ll take to find a parking space downtown. We made it at last and the first thing mom insisted we do was to take as many pictures as we can.
The parade involved not only walking 2.1 miles but we also had to dance to the choreography, you can tell by the red ribbons or whatever around my arms there. It wasn’t rocket science but doing it repeatedly under the 90-some degree sun for 2 miles, I was exhausted.
So we basically had to swing the ribbons around like one of those ancient time Chinese princess the whole way. Not just swing it like whatever but it had to be at unison with the group.
By 8 am, it was our queue to get to our spot in the parade. What did the other girls do? They ran. Yup. I was like why can’t we walk? We still have 30 minutes until the parade actually starts.
I have no idea how many blocks we ran. It was hot and I was completely out of breath by the time I caught up with them. There the group was, under the tree, breathing like dogs. My mouth suddenly felt bone dry and there was NO water!
The group leader glanced at her watch and announced, “So we have about 20 minutes. Anyone needs the bathroom, go. Anyone needs water, they are coming.” I couldn’t speak. I was sweating, dying of thirst, and I really need to sit down.
5 minutes later, mom’s friend and a group of men walked toward us, carrying a case of tiny bottles of water. I grabbed the bottle and quickly gulped down the delicious water. Then I realized, I’m hungry. That run had managed to burn a lot of calories. Crap!
But I shrugged, oh well. It’s only 2 miles right, how bad can it be?
After the other girls came back and the adults left, we walked the remaining half block to the parade starting point. It was lined with people like the news said, camped out since the previous day. I was getting nervous and hungry with every strive I take. What if I mess up? What if I fall out of step with the rest of the group?
But as I walked on and mimicked what the girl next to me was doing, my nervousness went away and I began enjoying the parade. So what if I did mess up a few times. Who cares! It’s all about having fun, right?
Two miles and two hours later, we were finally in the shades again as we entered Liberty Park (the bottom of the map). I was tired, exhausted, my face was red but thankfully, I did not get sunburned. Most importantly, I had a blast and it was the best Pioneer Day ever and I hope to do it again in future years. That is if mom’s friend needs me.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!!! 🙂