Days of ’47 Parade: A Celebration of Pioneers, State of Utah

Contributed By Jace Whatcott, Church News staff writer

  • 25 July 2014

President Thomas S. Monson smiles at people on the parade route during the Days of ’47 parade in downtown Salt Lake City, Thursday, July 24, 2014.  Photo by Michelle Tessier, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • “Pioneers—Pushing toward Our Future” was the theme of the 2014 Days of '47 parade.
  • President Thomas S. Monson was this year’s parade dignitary.

It's been 167 years since the first of the Latter-day Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley behind the leadership of President Brigham Young. Every year, in commemoration of that event, people from all over the valley participate in a parade—and many more line the streets—to honor and recognize the efforts of the early Mormon pioneers.

President Thomas S. Monson was this year’s parade dignitary. He was accompanied by his daughter, Sister Ann M. Dibb, former second counselor in the Young Women general presidency.

The floats that made an appearance in the parade were designed to represent an interpretation of the theme, “Pioneers—Pushing toward Our Future.” Many stakes submitted floats that were missionary themed or family history themed, and some of the floats had elaborate replicas of the temple.

The pioneers’ exodus from persecution helped pave the way for Latter-day Saints’ now full-fledged efforts as a Church body in missionary, family history, and temple work.

Although the parade is in commemoration of the Mormon pioneers coming to Utah, the parade also drew many members of other faiths to the celebration.

Girls wave to President Thomas S. Monson as he passes in the Days of '47 parade in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.

The Midvale Utah Stake won the Children's Choice Award during the Days of '47 parade in downtown Salt Lake City, Thursday, July 24, 2014. Photo by Michelle Tessier, Deseret News.

The Draper Utah Stake float passes by during the Days of '47 parade in downtown Salt Lake City, Thursday, July 24, 2014. Photo by Michelle Tessier, Deseret News.

Jim Williams, cochair of the Days of ’47 parade, said that the parade is not only a celebration of the pioneers advent but also a celebration of the state of Utah as a whole.

Andrew Caprio from the Dry Creek Ward, Lehi Utah South Stake, makes an effort to attend the parade every year, his family saying that it’s one of his favorite things do to. “It helps us celebrate the pioneers’ entry into Utah,” he said. He and his family turn off all cell phones so they are not distracted from their focus on what the pioneers did for the Church and their posterity.

Brother Caprio also talked of the immense sacrifice that the pioneers made in leaving their homes in the Midwest and coming out to such untamed lands.