“We just know that we’re there,” said Sherry Cole. “We’ve trained all of our family and grandkids” that it’s the place to be.
This year, the parade is scheduled for Friday, July 22 at 6 p.m. It starts at the 1500 South Roundabout and heads north on Main Street, ending at the South Davis Recreation Center.
“We’re noisy, we clap for all the entries. There’s nothing more boring than a quiet parade,” she said. “We’re rather noisy.”
As with many parade-watchers, the Coles have a system worked out so they can view the parade from their favorite spot, which is in the area of the LDS Church at about 1300 South Main.
“The grandkids secure a place nice and early,” she said (but not until 7 a.m. the day of, as per the Bountiful Police Department). “We probably show up 40 minutes or a half hour before. We have to be there to talk to people, visit, see people we only see at the parade.
“I don’t think we’ve missed a parade since they started, except when we were on our mission” to Scotland, Cole said.
And no matter what the weather, the tradition has continued.
“We take umbrellas. Everybody goes to get under the shade,” Cole said. “It’s been cold, been rainy, been so hot you could scream. It seems like it’s not unusual to get cloudy and threaten” rain.
“The year it rained so hard, we sat there until the bitter end,” she said. “We thought if someone is still coming down the street, we’ll still be here to cheer them on.
“We stick it to the end, regardless. We holler, cheer, have a good time,” Sherry Cole said, adding, “We also clean up our mess when we leave and help others that we can help do the same.”
This 61st annual parade follows the theme, “Faith of Our Fathers.”
The parade route goes about 1.8 miles and has been limited to 85 entries, still making it among the state’s largest parades. Crowds between 60,000 and 100,000 throng Main Street for the event.
“One of the great things about the entries this year is that there are a lot more commercial floats that will also be in the Days of 47 Parade,” Gehmlich said.
“I think the quality of the parade this year will be fantastic,” he said, adding, “We have asked each entry to adhere to the theme in some way. It should be exciting.”
The announcement of new entrees will be posted by July 12 on the website, www.handcartdays.org/events/parade/.
Parade entrants are encouraged to dress in a pioneer costume, with floats also encouraged, says Brett Gehmlich, public relations coordinator.
And yes, candy will still be a part of the parade – but it will be a little more controlled.
There will be a green line, on which those giving out candy will be asked to walk, distributing it, rather than throwing it from floats, etc.
Commercial entries have been limited to 10 in order to more closely follow a pioneer theme.
As usual, the police department will be on hand patrolling and keeping order on the parade route.