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Days of '47 Pioneer Day parade, rodeo postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

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FILE PHOTO: Days of '47 Rodeo (Photo: Daniel Woodruff / KUTV)

Coronavirus continues to disrupt lives and now traditions with the postponement of one of Utah's oldest celebrations, the Days of '47 Parade.

The parade, along with the Cowboy Games & Rodeo and all other events associated with Days of '47 were postponed until 2021, executive vice president Greg James told 2News. In addition to the parade and rodeo, postponed events include:

  • Pioneers of Progress Dinner
  • Sunrise Service
  • Royalty Pageant
  • Pops Concert

The parade had been scheduled for July 24 — Utah's Pioneer Day — at 9 a.m. in downtown Salt Lake City; the Cowboy Games & Rodeo were scheduled for July 21 through 25.

James told 2News winners of any Days of '47 events who were already announced will still be celebrated at next year's events.

Days of '47 president Lane Summerhays stated the decision to postpone events "was not taken lightly and was made only after thorough consideration and input from applicable sources," according to a press release sent to media on Tuesday.

The Days of '47 tradition dates back to July 24, 1847, when Mormon pioneer leader Brigham Young first came upon the Salt Lake Valley and decided to call it home. The organization's website states:

"By remembering those remarkable 1847 pioneers and all those who followed, The Days of ’47 seeks to make their accomplishments and hardships live today through a variety of activities and celebrations each year. We believe the example of past and present pioneers’ courage creates a vision for our combined future that everyone can follow as our new Pioneer Spirit!"

Greg James told 2News even though this year's events are postponed, the "Pioneer spirit" is still evident in Utah in many ways, including among first responders and medical workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

More information about Days of '47 and associated events can be found here, and here for the Cowboy Games & Rodeo.

About Days of '47 (information from the organization's website):

"On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and a determined company of Mormon pioneers realized their dreams upon entering the Great Salt Lake Valley, thus becoming the vanguard of one of the greatest treks in American history. Pulling handcarts or driving wagons with oxen or horses, thousands of pioneers carried a firm commitment to America’s belief in freedom of religion as they slowly trudged across the plains to a vast desert landscape that became known as the Utah Territory. Coming together from many nations, they sought to create a new life. This trek of the early Utah pioneers exemplifies the courage, foresight and faith that continue to inspire modern-day pioneers.

By remembering those remarkable 1847 pioneers and all those who followed, The Days of ’47 seeks to make their accomplishments and hardships live today through a variety of activities and celebrations each year. We believe the example of past and present pioneers’ courage creates a vision for our combined future that everyone can follow as our new Pioneer Spirit!

The Days of ’47, Inc. is a private, nonprofit, all-volunteer, charitable corporation to honor Utah’s early and modern pioneers and to keep their pioneering spirit alive."

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