‘Pie and Beer day’? A made up holiday for the rest of Utah

Composite image. Pie: Photo by vm2002/iStock/Getty Images Plus, Wagon, Photo by goodynewshoes/iStock/Getty Images Plus, Beer barrel: Photo by demarcomedia/iStock/Getty Images Plus, Cowboy: Photo by verbaska_studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus; St. George News

ST. GEORGE — For those reading this story from outside Utah, you may be unfamiliar with a significant element of the state’s culture celebrated annually July 24: It’s Pioneer Day, an official Utah state holiday.

Banks and some stores close along with state offices on Pioneer Day. It commemorates Brigham Young and the intrepid Mormon pioneers first coming into the Salt Lake Valley way back in 1847. A parade, a rodeo, fireworks and barbecues are usually on tap for Pioneer Day throughout Utah communities.

When it comes right down to it, though, Pioneer Day is pretty much tied to a specific religion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pretty much owns the holiday, celebrating the day. Not everyone feels included.

While celebrating Pie and Beer day, one option might be a Polygamy Porter from Wasatch Beers of Park City. The label says, “Why have just one?” St. George, Utah, July 17, 2017 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

About 12 years ago, groups began getting together on July 24 to celebrate the day their own way with beer and pies. Think about it. If you say it real fast, “Pioneer Day” sort of sounds like “Pie and Beer Day.” It’s an alternative some chose to the religious aspect of the day.

“Pie and Beer Day was created as a counterculture alternative for people that don’t fit into the established green jello and hand cart mold that has been around for generations,” Mike Riedel of the Utah Beer Blog said in a recent article. “More and more people are discovering what this wonderfully kitschy day has to offer. It’s not just about drinking beer or filling our er … ‘pie holes’ with pie but that other non-LDS cultures matter and that our way of celebrating life in Utah is just as legitimate.”

What kind of pie or beer? That’s the beauty of Pie and Beer Day. Traditional pies like apple or cherry are seen, but meat pies and pizza pies are welcome as well. Ales, lagers and stouts share the table with root beer. All are welcome to celebrate Pie and Beer Day, you don’t need alcohol to enjoy the party.

While not on the actual day, SunRiver St. George, a self-described “active adult golf course community,”  is holding a Pie and Beer Day celebration of its own Friday, four days after the state holiday. Pizza will be served for the price of $5 for two slices while pies and beers brought by residents will be shared and featured. RSVP is required by Wednesday at noon.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • youcandoit July 24, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’m not a Mormon.It’s good to hear I matter.

  • NotSoFast July 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

    What a joke article. Next thing you know we’ll have our own Do Dah parades, protest Christmas day being a paid, legal holiday, Clothes optional day, no meat to be sold on Fridays and a special license to drink a glass of wine at dinner time.

  • fubar July 24, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Interesting rant Notsofast………….no car sales on Sunday, no liquor sales on sunday, 4th of July on Sunday, it gets moved. Alternative holiday days are only appropriate for the majority?????

  • Kilroywashere July 24, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    The article is not a joke to me. I’ve lived here now for quite some time, and although I celebrate neither pioneer day nor beer and pie day, it’s only fair that everybody gets to enjoy the culture in which they live Since my local tax dollars are being spent on one specific group in the community , (and no doubt some of the funds for the celebeation were procured through non tax sources such as donations and volunteerism) I am truly glad to know I’m contributing to the happiness of people, no matter what their affiliation may be. I will stay at home, as being an outsider, such events bring me a sense of sadness, as I feel left out. So why feel sad. I think Pie day and beer, (kind of a yucky combo though) is a great way for some folk to make the best of what life has to offer. So everybody have fun. The article is well written, and for some hits home. Too bad I live in Santa Clara and not Sun River. I would be there, but drinking and driving is something I avoid, even if under the legal limit. With local law enforcement here hanging around alcohol related establishments and businesses, I think my decision is justified. Pie is ok, but not a big fan. Party out EVERYBODY, LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. 🙂

  • darkgoddess July 25, 2017 at 5:54 am

    As a non-Mormon, I don’t particularly feel left out on Pioneer Day. Although I have no Pioneer ancestors that came to Utah, my ancestors were still Pioneers in the sense they came across the ocean on a ship from Germany, Ireland and Scotland. Not all Pioneers that came out West were Mormon, although the majority of those that came to Utah were. Heritage Days or Pioneer Days are celebrated in many states/communities, although Utah is the only one that has made it a state holiday. To me, it’s just a way to celebrate our heritage, whatever it may be. Besides that, I got a three-day weekend out of the deal. Bring on the pie and beer!

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