WELLSVILLE – The American West Heritage Center is gearing up for Pioneer Day with their usual gusto. The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The tax-exempt organization has volunteers in period clothing stationed throughout the farm with enough historical background they can take visitors back in time to what it was like for early settlers in Cache Valley.
“This is my favorite theme of the year, especially when Pioneer Day lands on a Saturday,” said Wendy King, marketing manager of the center. “It’s not as crowded as some of the other events so people can take their time.”
This year they have new activities that they have never done before.
“Among other things, we are having the children’s parade at 11 a.m.,” she said. “We want to have a lot of participation. We want children to dress up in their pioneer clothes, decorate their bikes and wagons.”
The parade begins at 11 a.m. and will go around the farm.
“I did that when I was kid and it was a lot of fun,” she said. “We hope it will create some of the same kinds of memories.”
Among the 22 planned activities there will be an antique quilt display, bison tours, tomahawk throws, pony rides, train rides and more.
Tuesday afternoon Peggy Ramsten, a volunteer, was dressed in a long dress and was caring for the farmhouse in the 1917 period. She operated an old carpet sweeper and feather duster to tidy up the place. Sarah King, 11, was demonstrating how laundry was done back then using a washboard, rollers and two tin tubs.
Tess Tureson was in a pioneer-time cabin that came from Mendon. She demonstrated the work of women in the 1860’s.
Brad Bailey dressed as a mountain man and occupied the trader’s cabin full of beaver skins, traps and other goods. There is still more to see at the American West Heritage Center.
There are also a host of cities hosting Pioneer Day celebrations on Saturday, July 24. North Logan will celebrate the holiday on Friday, July 23rd, but Logan, Brigham City, Tremonton and even Weston, Idaho are whooping it up on Saturday to celebrate the arrival of the Pioneers to Utah. There may be more celebrations in other communities.
Most of the venues begin at 7 a.m. with 5-K runs, pancake breakfasts. Most parades begin at 10 a.m., though Logan City’s will begin at 12 p.m., followed by games and vendors in local parks. Most of the cities will have fireworks, too. The celebration with fireworks are expected to end around 10:30 p.m.
Ryan Shupe & The Rubber Band will perform at Willow Park before the Logan fireworks.
Brigham City’s Pioneer Celebration will begin at 11 a.m. at Rees Pioneer Park and go from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will include many hands-on family activities, including rope making, hand cart demonstrations, leather work and more. They even plan to have train rides. All activities are free.
Tremonton calls their celebration Hay Days and will begin their activities with a movie in Jeanie Stevens Park Friday evening and a Bread tribute band, called Toast, will perform as part of their festivities on Saturday. They also have a car show and fireworks.
Weston will have as part of their celebration their annual airplane candy drop at 1 p.m. and a western gunfight at Woodward’s Country Store at 7 p.m. The Bands Rough Stock will play at 8 p.m. The fireworks will start at dark.
There are many places for everyone to celebrate this year’s Pioneer Day without traveling too far away from home.