Pioneer Day traditions continue Valley wide

Three Cache Valley communities have big celebrations planned for the upcoming Pioneer Day holiday. Mendon City has a full week of festivities scheduled from Monday, July 17, through Saturday, July 22, with jam-packed Pioneer Day celebrations taking place in Logan and North Logan on Monday, July 24.

Pioneer Day is an official state holiday celebrated to mark the anniversary of the arrival of Utah’s first Mormon pioneers, who entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847 under the leadership of Brigham Young. Parades, rodeos, devotional programs and other special events are hosted throughout the Beehive State annually to commemorate the Days of ‘47, and Cache Valley’s Pioneer Day traditions have deep roots.

“It’s a longstanding tradition in Mendon, and it’s a really good thing,” said Karina Wooden, whose husband, Jason Wooden, heads the city’s annual Sunrise 5K/10K Fun Run. “It has turned into a weeklong thing where they do activities all week long, and then everybody just meets, mingles, all day on (Saturday). It’s just really neat.”

<strong>MENDON CITY</strong>

Mendon officially kicks off its <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/Mendon-City-Pioneer-Day-Celebration-1613163332305513/”>Pioneer Celebration</a> with a community talent show held at Mendon Square on Monday, July 17, at 7 p.m.  Tuesday is Square Dancing Nite, Family Canoe Nite is on Wednesday and a Shotgun Shoot and Historic Home Bike Tour will take place on Thursday. A community softball tournament is scheduled Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and a food contest, volleyball tournament, Keyboard Cavalcade and flag football game are on the docket for Friday.

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Saturday’s celebration begins July 22, with check-in for the Sunrise 5K/10K Fun Run at 6:30 a.m.  Highlights of the day include an all-you-can-eat breakfast, vendor fair, parade, kids games, entertainment and the 15<sup>th</sup> annual Mendon Great Race—a unique and highly competitive showdown between the community’s five LDS wards involving dancers, racers, root beer chuggers, handcart pioneers, apple bobbers and pie eaters. Each of five teams has 47 participants, including a tricycle racer, a grandma with a toddler, a taffy eater, a dunk tank dunkee, a Pony Express rider and two human wheelbarrows.

“It’s quite the production,” said Wooden. “There’s quite a rivalry there.”

Mendon’s Pioneer Celebration committee is chaired by Juliene Robins and has been for as long as Wooden can remember. Wooden said the event is part of why her family has called Mendon home for more than 20 years.

“We plan our whole summer activities around this,” said Wooden. “We wouldn’t miss it for the world. Anybody who has been to one, I think, will make it a point of not missing out on it again. It’s such a great thing to have our whole extended family come to join in. For a small town, the fireworks display they put on is amazing, and there are so many things to do. We love spending the time together.”

<strong>LOGAN CITY</strong>

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<a href=”http://www.loganutah.org/departments/parkrec/specialevents/2017PioneerDayCelebrationPosterUpdate(7-5-17).pdf”>Logan City’s Pioneer Day Celebration</a> begins Monday, July 24, with a noncompetitive Fun Run at Willow/Horseshoe Park at 7 a.m. and a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m., sponsored by the Lions Club. Volleyball, horseshoe, soccer and basketball tournaments take place throughout the morning, with an ultimate Frisbee tournament being introduced this year.  Beginning at 9 a.m., T-L Team Roping will sponsor a Pioneer Day Junior Rodeo at the Cache County Fairgrounds, and from 10 a.m. to dark, guests will enjoy food and craft booths, a parade, a Pioneer Playland, a pie eating contest, entertainment and much more at Willow Park.

“We have our annual grass volleyball tournament, and the King and Queen of the Beach, which is the sand volleyball, so there’s a lot of that kind of stuff going on,” said Dan Blakely, Logan City’s recreation division manager. “We have Family Fun Zumba up there on the Center Stage, and that’s always fun to watch and participate in…and one of our biggest events of the day is the Family Fun Bingo. That’s always a popular event.”

Beginning at 4 p.m., Family Fun Bingo is followed by Magician Al Lampkin at 5:30 p.m. and performances at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. by Mile Marker 6 (country music) and The Strike (pop-funk-rock). Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

“I think overall for me, the best part of the day is just seeing everybody enjoying themselves,” Blakely said. “It’s a long, busy day for us, but it’s worth it for the community.”

<strong>NORTH LOGAN CITY</strong>

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“Celebrating our Heritage – Building our Future” is the theme of <a href=”http://northlogancity.org/”>North Logan City</a>’s 24<sup>th</sup> of July Celebration, and participants in the 7 a.m. Pioneer 5K &amp; 1 Mile Run at Elk Ridge Park are encouraged to dress in their best pioneer or patriotic attire. A flag ceremony and Friends of the Library breakfast will take place at Elk Ridge Park at 7:30 a.m., and a fishing contest will be held at King Nature Park from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. A community parade begins at 10 a.m., following a route North on 1600 E. and West on 2100 N.

“I’m really looking forward to the parade again this year,” said Lynda Smith, North Logan City’s recreation coordinator. “We always have a great parade with a ton of candy and a ton of great community members involved in the parade, so that’s always a lot of fun.”

After the parade, Mile Marker 6 will perform at Mountain View Park, where there will also be pioneer games, bounce houses, food and vendors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the North Logan City Royalty will host a Charity BBQ and High Stakes Bingo at Elk Ridge Park to benefit <a href=”http://thefamilyplaceutah.org/” target=”_blank”>The Family Place</a>. Family Fun Games with a “Moana” theme follow at 7 p.m., including Kakamora Bowling, a scavenger hunt and a photo booth.

“We’re even having a Moana look-alike come, so we’re really excited for that, and then after those activities, we’re showing the movie ‘Moana’ in the park,” said Smith. “Then we’re having this great display of fireworks that are sponsored by Lazy One, and so they’re going to be better than they’ve ever been before. We’re just looking forward to having a better 24<sup>th</sup> of July Celebration than we’ve ever had before and for everyone to come and enjoy it with us.”

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jennifer@cvradio.com

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