Just one week from today, members of the LDS church will celebrate Pioneer Day. Even without a calendar, many Mormons—particularly those close to Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City—can tell when Pioneer Day has arrived. Here are ten of our favorites!
- All of the roads in Salt Lake City are closed
The annual Days of ’47 parade always includes the best floats, music, and performers that Utah has to offer! Many have to settle for watching it on TV, but many locals go to watch in person . . . if the roads nearby aren’t blocked. Inconvenient? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely!
- Nobody wants to go to work
Pioneer Day is a state holiday in Utah, which means that some people get it off and the rest try to take it off. Deepest condolences to those who have no chance of time off until Labor Day.
- More fireworks!
If the 4th of July is over and you’re still seeing fireworks, Pioneer Day is probably upon you. Many pyrotechnics take any chance they can get to play with colorful explosives and celebrate with a bang!
- Boots and bonnets are “in” again
Whether your ward’s pioneer trek is in full swing or you’re walking around a Utah town, you’re likely to see some 19th-century clothing around the 24th of July. Maybe you’ll even borrow your mom’s apron or grandfather’s straw hat.
- Church talks are nothing but epic stories
Pioneer Day talks are the best talks. Why? Because no one assigned to speak on the Sunday closest to the 24th can resist telling an inspirational story about their ancestor who survived near-death experiences or made staggering sacrifices to make the journey to Zion.
- “Seventeen Miracles” and “Ephraim’s Rescue”
If you don’t get your fill in Sacrament Meeting, Living Scriptures can give you plenty more pioneer-themed entertainment. You can get your first month of streaming “Seventeen Miracles”, “Ephraim’s Rescue”, and more than 200 other videos for only $5 with the coupon code “FIVE”—just click here!
- MoTab pulls out all the stops
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir always performs some of the best music known to man. But every July, they put on what is perhaps their best concert of the year! Special guests have included the King’s Singers, Lindsey Stirling, and this year’s Alex Boyé! You can watch past concerts here.
- Grandma’s recipes make a reappearance
What’s a holiday without great food? Many families love to celebrate their heritage by making dishes their ancestors used to make. There are weird ones like pickled cabbage, but others are downright delicious. Peach cobbler, anyone?
- Grown men start playing with shovel handles
Games and activities contemporary to the early Saints come out every Pioneer Day, and one of the favorites is the stick pull. This activity, said to be enjoyed by Joseph Smith, basically involves two people sitting with their feet together holding a large stick (or shovel handle) and pulling until someone lets go, falls over, or is taken to the ER. What fun!
- “Come, Come, Ye Saints” all day long
Pretty much every LDS ward in the world sings “Come, Come, Ye Saints” at least once on the Sunday closest to the 24th of July. And no pioneer event is complete without the song. Thus, you’ll probably hear it a lot . . . and you will love it every single time.
Which sign of Pioneer Day was your favorite? Did we miss any? Tell us in the comments below, and get ready to enjoy Pioneer Day in just one week!