Pioneer day offers students and residents the opportunity to reflect on the beginnings of this state and it’s parentage of strength. Lauren Stratton/UVU Review

On Saturday, July 24, residents from across the state will be celebrating Utah’s pioneer heritage by participating in a grand parade, fireworks and other seasonal activities.

While most students are grateful for a late-summer holiday, few are familiar with its significance. Saturday marks 163 years since the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley and Brigham Young famously declared, “This is the place.”

The Mormon pioneers’ determination is commemorated every year on July 24 in the “Days of ’47” parade in Salt Lake City. Local businesses, community groups and high school marching bands sponsor floats and music for the event.

This year, UVU will enter a float in the Days of ’47 parade. Members of UVUSA will be marching in the parade directly behind the float.

“Our float celebrates the legacy of the Utah Pioneers,” said Erin Fleming, Peer Academic Advisor for UVUSA. “We believe that it is important to remember where we came from and to leave a legacy for those who come after us.”

One popular event is the Deseret News Marathon, which starts at Big Mountain at 5:30 a.m. on July 24. Later, it will join the parade route in Salt Lake City, allowing participants to be encouraged by thousands of spectators.

Regardless of plans over the Pioneer Day weekend, remember to be safe. The Utah Safety Council reports that from 2000 to 2009 more people died in traffic accidents in Utah on Pioneer Day than any other day of the year.

Additional details about the parade and related events can be found at