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Inside story: It’s Pioneer – er, Handcart Days!
by Tom Busselberg
Jul 22, 2011 | 5039 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s a time to celebrate!

Bountiful’s rolling out the red carpet for the giant Handcart Days celebration, which, to use the trite expression that I think fits, “has something for everybody.”

And while the actual activities get under way Friday morning at Bountiful Park, as well as along Main Street as people map out their parade setting arrangements – planning starts months, even years, before.

In fact, hundreds of volunteers are what make Handcart Days what it is.

For many, their involvement is a calling from the LDS Church, which can be for up to three years.

Say someone is called to handle publicity. The first year of their assignment, they would serve as an under-study, or shadow to the lead person in that calling. The next year, they are “it,” as far as being the point person. That last year, they act as a consultant, share their experience with the two people behind them, time-line-wise.

Those callings involve people from all of the nearly 20 stakes in South Davis – not only Bountiful.

The success of the celebration is something for which the LDS Church has become celebrated for around the world – it generally runs like clockwork, with all the wheels greased and trouble-shooting already taken care of long before the actual event.

I want to personally add my thanks to the many who so unselfishly give of their time to make this event work, to provide good, clean fun and enjoyment for the tens of thousands who participate – including many from “out of town.”

That ranges from donating/and/or cooking the burgers and other goodies that will be consumed by revelers at Bountiful City Park, to the ham radio operators who help with logistics to assure the parade moves smoothly.

And I need to also throw out a big thank you to the many Bountiful City folks who are intimately involved, as well.

A big thanks to Jerry Wilson and the parks department crews; Tom Ross and the police department; and other departments, such as streets, that work to make things under their control move as smoothly as possible.

There is so much to choose from: Bountiful City Park will have games, food, Mountain Man exhibit, continuous entertainment – and even the chance to recycle that drink container or plastic-ware, thanks to the efforts of two Boy Scouts and their friends. A separate story in this issue tells about what they’re doing.

The Grand Parade offers up a big celebration of its own. There are several marching bands and musical groups, floats from many LDS stakes and representation from at least two other churches; the Hill AFB Color Guard, as well as entries from the American Legion and several service organizations, to name just a smattering of who will be in the parade.

An extraordinary fireworks display will cap off Friday’s activities at dusk (about 9:45 p.m.), from Mueller Park Junior High School.

Then Saturday morning the Rec Center sponsors runs, short and longer, as well as free swimming.

The Bountiful Exchange Club dishes up its hearty and tasty breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the City Park Bowery next to the junior high, and the fun continues at the park.

Then there’s a chance to reflect on the area’s history. Bus tours from the Willey Pioneer Cabin on City Hall block will showcase the city’s early schools and much more, starting at 9 a.m. until at least 1 p.m. And you can get a guided tour of the historic Bountiful Tabernacle, every hour on the half hour starting at 9:30 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Bountiful Historical Commission will tell stories, dressed in Pioneer costume, of some of the city’s early settlers who are buried in the Bountiful City Cemetery.

And, lest I forget, there are some other events going on, under the name of Pioneer Day in the county.

On Saturday morning, Bowman’s Super Store in Kaysville will throw its annual breakfast, donating all of the food and proceeds to the Kaysville Recreation program. A separate story details that and other, related activities in this issue.

The Davis Chamber of Commerce will join with 20 restaurants for the annual North Davis Taste of the Town, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., July 25 at the city’s Common’s Park. A story also outlines that in today’s paper, including the Riders in the Sky concert that follows.

There’s a lot of ways to celebration the arrival of Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.

Thanks to everybody making it all possible. And, remember to be careful as you drive, and careful if you use fireworks! Happy Handcart/Pioneer Day(s)!

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