Celebrating Pioneer Day Cedar City style; STGnews Videocast

CEDAR CITY — Hundreds gathered along Main Street in Cedar City Friday morning to celebrate the heritage of pioneers who settled Utah 168 years ago, forging a future that allows millions to thrive today.

Cedar City Pioneer Day Parade brought hundreds out to celebrate those who sacrificed to forge a new land years ago, Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, July 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Cedar City Pioneer Day Parade brings hundreds out to celebrate those who sacrificed to forge a new land years ago, Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, July 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The rich tradition of Pioneer Day is a statewide celebration of perseverance and faith, honoring the pioneer ancestors of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who fled to a new land to escape persecution.

Grandparents, parents, children, family and friends dragged along camp chairs, blankets and coolers to watch as city leaders, officials, church wards, university clubs, high school bands and many others marched in a Pioneer Day parade along the flag-lined street to show their community spirit.

Children patiently waited along each side of the road with bags in their hands, prepared for any candy that might come their way as it was thrown by parade participants. Parents laughed at the wild dash for each Tootsie Roll that hit the pavement.

But the candy dashers were well behaved  there was no pushing or shoving. At one point, a small child who hadn’t made it to the candy before it was gone was offered handfuls from some of the other children who had.

Cedar City Pioneer Day Parade brought hundreds out to celebrate those who sacrificed to forge a new land years ago, Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, July 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Cedar City Pioneer Day Parade brings hundreds out to celebrate those who sacrificed to forge a new land years ago, Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, July 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Some performing groups in the parade entertained the audience with Mexican and Polynesian cultural dances, while others played patriotic American anthems like “Yankee Doodle” on kazoo.

Pioneer Day is a time of togetherness and family, Cedar City resident Antinette Haggerty said.

“I come from pioneers that settled Cedar City,” she said, “so today’s an important day that kind of helps us remember and think about ancestors and what family means.”

In some cases, the families that gathered were generations deep in Pioneer Day spirit. Holding his little granddaughter in his arms, Cedar City resident Bryce Bishop said that, for him, the holiday is not just about reflection and consideration for ancestors, but it’s also about acknowledging and looking forward to the future of new generations to come.

Growing up in Cedar City, Cedar City Councilman Ron Adams said, Pioneer Day has always been a special holiday for him.

“Pioneer Day, to me, is one of my favorite holidays of the year,” Adams said. “I’ve lived and grown up here in Cedar City, and I’ve been here 58 years, and I really enjoy the 24th of July to celebrate the history and heritage of our pioneers coming to Utah and establishing Cedar City down here in the south.”

Cedar City Pioneer Day Parade brought hundreds out to celebrate those who sacrificed to forge a new land years ago, Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, July 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Cedar City Pioneer Day Parade brings hundreds out to celebrate those who sacrificed to forge a new land years ago, Main Street, Cedar City, Utah, July 24, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The pioneers deserve a day to be remembered, Cedar City resident Richard Hunter said.

The hour-and-a-half-long parade ended with a cool burst of water courtesy of the Cedar City Fire Department, shooting water high into the air and dousing all who stood nearby.

As the water truck passed by, followed by the Cedar City Police Department, who had been holding traffic at bay, residents quickly packed up their gear and, with children in tow, made their way home or to Main Street Park to continue with the holiday festivities.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • mesaman July 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    You make me proud to be a native of Cedar City. I can remember watching these parades while growing up there. Dad’s Texaco Station offered a great view for the whole family. Here in St George we have a sit-in parade; we sit in our air conditioned TV rooms and watch the parade in SLC. I must admit the LDS stakes and wards were well presented at the Fouth Street Park; great breakfast served by our leaders.

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