WESTON – Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah celebrate pioneers arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. The date is recognized as a state holiday in the state. But in Utah, gatherings and parades have been cancelled due to COVID-19 this year.
At the northern end of Cache Valley, Weston, Idaho has announced they will be observing their own, Idaho version of their Pioneer Celebration on Saturday July, 18.
The city of less than 500 residents has made this a special event for well over 100 years and this year will be no different. Most of the activities will be held again at the City Park adjacent to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building located at 27 North Center Street from 7 a.m. in the morning to a huge firework show at night.
Morning activities include races, a West Side High School band fund raising breakfast and the Pioneer Day Parade on Depot St. to follow at 10 a.m. This year’s parade will include eight different horse drawn wagons, including Joe Ward’s red stagecoach. Ward rarely brings the coach out of storage for parades in recent years. But he has agreed to bring four of his horse drawn buggies and coaches for this year’s celebration including his prized stagecoach.
This year’s Grand Marshall will be Monte Waldron and he will be riding in one of the antique horse drawn vehicles.
Mike Hyde, another antique wagon collector, has agreed to bring some of his wagons. If tradition holds true, there will be plenty of candy thrown along the parade route.
At 11 a.m. the games in the park will begin and at 1 p.m. an airplane will drop candy for the children.
The games also include a pig chase were the winner can keep his or her catch.
At 2 p.m., the Weston fire department will cool things off with their fire hose.
“There will be no jump houses this year,” said Van Woodward, a Weston resident and business owner. “If you are sick stay home.”
At 7 p.m. there will be the ever popular, Old West shoot-out in front of Woodward’s Country Store located at 42 Depot St. The shoot-out has included a maiden in distress, an outlaw and a sheriff who saves the day.
The country western band Rough Stock will perform at 8 p.m.
Fireworks will light up the sky at dark.
“I have been assured by ACME Fireworks this is going to be a huge show,” Woodward said.
“Generally, people spread out for the fireworks,” he said. “Again, if you are at all nervous about your health, stay home.”