LDS Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, ‘Stripling Warriors’ to participate in Washington City luau and parade

Organizer Rick Neilson got the idea for the "Stripling Warriors" march from this group, which marched in last year's "Handcart Days," celebration in Bountiful. | Photo courtesy

WASHINGTON CITY – Jeffrey R. Holland is a member of the LDS Church’s Twelve Apostles, the former president of Brigham Young University and the author of eight books. He’s also one of St. George’s native sons.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland | Photo courtesy
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland | Photo courtesy

Holland returns home Tuesday to participate in the Washington City Pioneer Day celebration. The 73-year old will also be honored Tuesday night at Washington City’s Veteran’s Park as he will receive the Manhood Award for his years of service to community and church.

The award will be presented at a luau at the park. The dinner portion of the luau, which begins at 7:30 p.m., is closed to the public. But event director Rick Neilson said the public was welcome to attend the award presentation at approximately 8:20. Holland is expected to make a short acceptance speech and then a Polynesian show will be performed by a professional dance group from Las Vegas.

“This is a show that might cost $150 down in Vegas,” said event assistant director Austin Jackson. “It should be very impressive.”

Neilson said it would be an informal event with no chairs or tables.

“We’ve told people to bring camp chairs or blankets,” he said. “The more the merrier. It should be quite a party.”

Holland is also scheduled to participate in Washington City’s Pioneer Day parade as part of the “Stripling Warriors.” As many as 1,000 young people will march in the parade in an event put together by Neilson.

“I was up in Bountiful last year and they did something like this for their Handcart Days celebration,” he said. “I’m a little bit OCD and I noticed that a lot of the kids marching there had their basketball shorts hanging out of their costumes and were wearing sneakers with the laces untied and I thought, ‘Hey, we can do better.’

“We have three groups that will be marching: The Stripling Warriors with a chariot out front and Captain Moroni leading them. Cary Chamberlain will be Captain Moroni and he’s real animated and should really fire them up. Plus, we have 12 drums … and horns.”

Neilson said the second group will be Boy Scouts dressed in full uniform and a third group will be youth dressed as LDS missionaries, both boys and girls. Neilson also said he is expecting a minimum of 600 marchers, though the number keeps growing. Groups from Denver, Rexburg, Idaho, and various communities in northern Utah have committed to march in the parade, as well as the Polynesian Stake in southern Utah and various youths from Washington County.

Organizer Rick Neilson got the idea for the "Stripling Warriors" march from this group, which marched in last year's "Handcart Days," celebration in Bountiful. | Photo courtesy
Organizer Rick Neilson got the idea for the “Stripling Warriors” march from this group, which marched in last year’s “Handcart Days,” celebration in Bountiful. | Photo courtesy

As far as the Stripling Warriors costumes go, Neilson said many of them are impressive.

“We really wanted to make this neat,” he said. “We had a costume contest for the most original and authentic costumes with the top three receiving $100. Some of these boys have really gone the extra mile, doing things like sewing buckskins into the shirts. Some of them got help from their dads, but that’s OK. If we got fathers and sons working together, well that’s a good thing.”

The Boy Scout marchers will be led by costumed character William Baden Powell, the founder of the BSA, while the missionary group will be led by costumed characters Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

The Washington City Pioneer Day Parade is at 9 a.m. Wednesday and will begin on 300 East near the cemetery. The parade route goes south from there to Telegraph Street, then west to 100 West.


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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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  • Tyler July 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Why won’t the LDS admit the BOM is a work of fiction?

    • Gunther July 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Why won’t the LSD admit Tyler is a work of fiction?

    • Jay D. July 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      The LDS church doesn’t need to admit anything,. It’s one of the most successful corporations in the world and it will always have customers by virtue of how stupid most people are.

      • Ken July 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        And they make a lot of asinine comments and that is my testimony.

    • Sweet Jude July 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Because Tyler, most people who go to the LDS church have what is called a testimony. Something you may have had before but lost. I say that because you have a bitterness that is typical of those who leave the Church for one reason or another. Usually because they get offended for some small thing. Does Thomas B. Marsh ring a bell?

      • Dumper July 26, 2013 at 11:53 am

        They are brainwashed and their testimony is what has been programmed into them since day one. They say the same BS, such as the burning of the bosom. That comment about gives me the runs.

  • Ruth July 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I’m assuming you mean south to Tabernacle, not Telegraph.

    • Andy Griffin July 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Ruth. But no, the parade is in Washington, not St. George.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic July 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      No no, Ruth. This is in Washington City. 🙂


  • Kimi July 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I think most importantly the church teaches to love everyone no matter their opinion of others. Especially , others’ opinions about the church. As a member of the church, I apologize Tyler that some (members or not) may choose the negative side of their words. The gospel is perfect but the people inside it constantly need perfection 🙂 Hugs my brother.

    • Ken July 23, 2013 at 6:43 am

      Tell your bunk to the kids who are alienated because they aren’t Mormon, y7eah they teach about spreading the love my a**!!!

      • Alvin July 23, 2013 at 8:47 am

        Spreading the love is a personal choice regardless of religious preference. Even some that go to church weekly “still” haven’t got it yet or understand how to implement this skill. And it’s apparent that it’s skipped over you too! We still love you though. XOXOXO

    • Toodles July 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      dang! did you think that crock of crap up yourself or were you programmed to say that?

      • Ken July 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

        That would be severe brainwashed and extremely weak minded! Alvin keep your “love” to yourself, thanks much!!!

  • Hoorah July 23, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Will the Brigham Young character have numerous 14 year old girls tagging along? Let’s be historically accurate now.

    • DoubleTap July 23, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Uummm No. They will be mostly 12 year olds.

  • Ken July 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Anyone know of local news that isn’t Mormon based? STG News is about becoming Sunday School!!! The angle which news is covered around here is horrible.

  • Hello! July 23, 2013 at 10:39 am

    When you live in Utah not to mention an southern Utah where the population is still predominantley LDS you are going to hear about the church in the news no matter which paper you read because the majority of their readers are LDS. I’m constantly amazed about the amount of people complaining about one thing or another without doing anything to change their situation. Even in Salt Lake where there are now many many non LDS people it is still UT and the news still has a lot to do with the church. You can see that it is not going to change. You are the minority. If you don’t like that change it. Otherwise embrace it and try to enjoy your life. I didn’t like being the minority either so I moved out of CA and came to St. George. It is not like the job opportunities are keeping you here. Just remember where you are next time you complain.
    Based on your unhappiness you might even find that we have something to offer you. Maybe that is why you are here because it needed to be in your face for you to check it out.

    • Ken July 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      LMAO! Another typical bigot spouting their dislike that people don’t care for their religion. Have to love people who spout off about something they know NOTHING of or about. I have lived here for 33 years and am very happy with where I live. I own a business that employs 6 people. What do you do for our economy,besides church cheering? Your holier then thou attitude is disgusting!!

      • Sweet Jude July 23, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        You are very happy here, huh? I don’t think happiness and misery can exist in the same person. Something I learned at church a while back. So you’ve been here for 33 years. You should know at least some common sense things by now. I wonder what really went wrong…;)

        • Ken July 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm

          I’m sure glad that no one is paying you to think! Nice to have another bigot butting in to spout their bunk. Just proves my point even more. I think you need more church because a weak mind can be damaging!

          • Sweet Jude July 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm


            Are you truly honestly happy living here? Are you at peace with yourself? Any inner conflict? You don’t have to answer these questions online if you don’t want to embarrass yourself.

  • ASR July 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    To the nitpickers who invariably find any and all reasons to be negative about anything remotely related to the LDS Church, you do realize this in reference to the PIONEER DAY CELEBRATION, as in the MORMON PIONEERS THAT (formally) SETTLED THE REGION YOU’RE NOW LIVING IN. That’s all, complain about something legitimately problematic next time, please. Oh, and the last time someone treated me rudely, cut me off in traffic, looked in my direction (eliciting my confirmation bias of judgement and persecution), or some other unspeakable act, I didn’t get a chance to ask what their spiritual beliefs were……

  • Toodles July 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    They look, how do I say this, well they look, don’t be offended, but they look very…….. “Gay!” There, I said it. They look like boys in dresses….. “Gay!” How embarrassing for boys to put on dresses! But my oh my, what purty smiles they has. What fiction fantasy book did this guy in the Roman head dress come out of? Nothing in my American or World history books about a General Moroni leading his minions of boys in dresses. Oh, this is about someone’s Manhood Award. Truthfully, though, ya gotta question someone’s manhood if he likes leading around a bunch of boys in dresses.

    • Noodles July 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Look like rainbow warriors, if you know what i mean.

    • Craig July 24, 2013 at 5:39 am

      @Toodles and Noodles, Don’t insult the Gays. After all, they would not be caught dead in anything as ugly as the Mormon -boy dresses.

      • Gunther July 24, 2013 at 7:58 am

        So as I read the venom that is spewed in these comments from those against somebody’s beliefs, I wonder just what belief system “they” hold dear to their heart. If someone does not like the LDS religion and it’s really not hurting you or affecting you, why do you show your lack of compassion and intelligence on these comments? It must be a really sad event to watch as you all meet in your religious group to yell at each other and see who can throw out the most hurtful and degrading comments. Then after you leave and feel re-vitalized by your beliefs, you can show what a wonderful part of society you are by pontificating your value system to all who are unlucky enough to read it.

        There is a wonderful event happening today in Washington City and a whole bunch of “happy” people will be there to enjoy the activities of the day. I will be there and it will be a fun and enjoyable day to spend with others who are attending to celebrate the Pioneers who came to SLC and eventually southern Utah.

        • Noodles July 24, 2013 at 11:27 am

          Can can anyone base their spiritual beliefs on stories that are pure fiction? Again, show us the evidence, the proof, documentation that supports these ridiculous fiction stories. People who dedicate their lives to such fiction are the people who drink the kool-aid when told to do so like those at Jonestown.

          • Fettachini July 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

            Arrogance and anger are such boring character traits.

        • Craig July 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm

          Aww, did i hurt your little feelings by calling your Mormon boy dresses ugly?

          • Sweet Jude July 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

            Alert: Craig, Toodles, and Doodles are all the same person. He / she is very bitter since he left the church because he was offended when a leader called him to repentance.

          • Toodles July 26, 2013 at 11:56 am

            Hi Craig, this is Toodles. I don’t know you, but someone, probably some mormon clone, thinks we’re the same persons.

  • Toodles July 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    The July 24th parades should have a man lying in a bed being pushed by his harem of polygamist wives to show the truth of women doing all the work while the lazy guy pioneer in bed waiting to be served by 13 year old wife number 6.

  • Bender July 23, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I wonder about the real provenance of style of the stripling warrior costumes. It seems to be Roman by way of Hollywood by way of Arnold Friberg.

  • Hello! July 24, 2013 at 11:17 am

    For someone throwing out the word bigot so freely you dear sir are the only one speaking as a bigot. I was only helping you understand your position here in this Mormon town. You should come out and enjoy the fun today. We welcome you with open arms.

  • Hoorah July 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    “We welcome you with open arms”(as long as you’re a mormon) LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never met such a group of close minded people in my life!

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