Float depicting Wilford Woodruff fly fishing.
Celebrate Pioneer Day early with the Days of 47 Float Preview. This two day event takes place at the South Towne Expo Center, and is FREE. It runs July 20 and 21, from 11am to 9pm. If you have ever wanted to see a float up close in air-conditioned comfort, this is your chance. Some of these floats have moving parts or characters. One float this year even has a waterfall (with running water). It is hard to imagine the hours and dedication it takes to put one of these together.
This float honors the diversity of churches in Utah.
If you have questions, there are people around who actually worked on these floats who are happy to talk to you about their projects. Many floats have displays nearby that show the progress of putting the whole thing together. Some people are handing out candy, and on one float, kids could even have their pictures taken with a mermaid. One woman told me she traced 1864 leaf patterns to construct 932 leaves on the tree on their float. Just thinking about cutting out all of those foam shapes makes my hand ache! There are balloons and face painting for children, as well as live entertainment during the event.
Flower detail from one of the floats.
Take the time to examine these floats in close detail. Some have foam flowers, like these. One float had live plants and flowers all over it. Then step back to get the big picture. These are amazing creations. Don't forget to pick up a ballot and vote for your favorite! This is how the People's Choice Award and Children's Choice Award are selected for the big parade on Monday.
Float from Draper, Featuring Eggs
I even learned a little bit of history while strolling through the floats. Draper, Utah apparently was nicknamed the Egg-basket of Utah. Who knew? In the 1920s, the farmers formed an egg co-op, and during World War II, they provided eggs to US servicemen all over the world.
Hole in the Rock float
This float depicts a harrowing wagon journey from Utah pioneer history. Floats in this parade honor many different cultures and heritages and reflect Utah's ever-growing diversity. The Days of 47 parade began in 1849, and has become a wonderful Utah tradition. I hope it continues for a long while to come.
IF YOU GO:
South Towne Expo Center
9575 S. State Street
Tuesday and Wednesday, July 20 & 21, 2011
11am to 9pm