Hundreds of people lined the streets of Downtown Salt Lake City this morning to witness the annual Days of ‘47 Parade.
The annual celebration remembers the arrival of the first pioneer settlers to the Salt Lake Valley. On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and his fellow Latter-day Saints emerged from the mouth of Emigration Canyon, pulling handcarts and driving wagons. 165 years later, colorful floats, horse-drawn carriages and pioneer wear harken back to that momentous trek.
The parade also gave plenty of nods to Utah’s expanding cultural diversity with appearances by the Chinese Society of Utah and the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga’s Brass Band.
Holladay resident Christie Kimball and her family camped outside last night so they could get a good view of the parade near Ken Sanders Rare Books. Kimball says it’s important to honor the group of people who sacrificed their civilized lives to come to this desert.
Kimball, had a hand in building a parade float nine years ago that she says did just that.
“We put our ancestors inside canning jars and preserved them in the jars," Kimball says. "The parade committee thought it was a little too controversial but they finally let us do it.”
Katherine Broadbent also slept outside last night. She just adopted two Ukranian teenagers who are seeing the Days of ’47 parade for the first time.
“We were just thinking, what are they thinking?" Broadbent says. "We’ve got wagons going down the street and in their cities people still use that mode of transportation so why is it so interesting in a parade? This is our heritage”
Parade-goers stayed comfortable last night with blow-up mattresses and tents. David Lamb is from Kaysville. He brought a living room couch to the parade. He says although he was comfortable, he didn’t really get any sleep because of the noise.
“None whatsoever," Lamb says. "There was a guy selling horns and a drunk guy across the street.”
The two-mile parade began on South Temple and State Street and ended at Liberty Park.