We celebrate Pioneer Day on the 24th of July here in Utah where we remember the legacy of those who came from the east to settle in this harsh climate. There are hundreds of stories from this time. I find the ones left by women who trekked across the country inspiring. 

Utah's pioneer women were amazing. They left behind familiar comforts and embarked on a perilous journey across treacherous terrains, enduring extreme weather conditions and facing uncertain futures. These women were not only responsible for tending to their families' needs but also played crucial roles in building communities, schools, and places of worship, laying the foundation for Utah's vibrant social fabric. 

In the face of adversity, these women displayed remarkable resilience.

They faced food shortages, harsh living conditions, and often had to rely on their ingenuity and resourcefulness to survive. Here’s a short quote from one of my ancestors, Mary Ann Hershey, that gives a sense of the conditions. 

“There was a sick woman and a little child in the wagon; also my sister and I. We were almost at the foot of the hill when the team swung to one side and over the wagon went. My sister I jumped out and were unhurt, but the wagon tipped over on top of the women and the child. We were all afraid they were killed. But upon turning the wagon over, they were found to have been hurt but little.” 

Everyday life was perilous, but they picked up where they were and continued on. Later she was married and went on with her husband to carve out a life in Southern Utah and had eleven children. All without the benefit of modern conveniences that make it easier to live here, such as air conditioning. 

The legacy of Utah's pioneer women lives on today in the empowered and strong women who continue to contribute significantly to the state's progress. Their stories of resilience, determination, and compassion are an integral part of Utah's history. This is part of the reason I celebrate Pioneer Day, to honor that legacy. 


How And Where To Celebrate Pioneer Day in Southern Utah

July 24th is celebrated in Utah as Pioneer Day. It is a day set aside to honor those who came across the country by wagon and handcart and settled in Utah. Here’s how you can celebrate this Monday.

Washington City Celebrates Pioneer Day

Start with the Lion’s Club Breakfast at 7 am. After your stomach is full, head over for the parade down Telegraph. It starts at 8 am. This is always a fun parade and early enough in the morning to avoid the heat. There’s always plenty of floats and fire engines along with thrown candy. Make sure your kids bring a bag to collect the goods. 

Pioneer Day Parade Washingon
Pioneer Day Parade Washingon

After the parade, head over to Veterans Park where there are booths with games and fun for the kids. When you need to be refreshed, the Washington City Community Center is a great place to cool off in the pool. 

Cap the night off with the fireworks show. It starts at 10 p.m. at the baseball complex at Veterans Park. It is also legal to buy fireworks at the stands around town and then light them off when it gets dark. 

Photo by Joseph Hersh on Unsplash
Photo by Joseph Hersh on Unsplash

Of course, not everyone gets the 24th off, including us here at the radio station. If you can’t get to all the events, here’s an old west name generator. My name came out as “Quick Draw James” and I plan on challenging all I see to a gunfight if they don’t address me properly. 

Also, a perfect day to wear those wranglers and cowboy boots in your closet. Even better, ride a horse to work and leave it tied up in the parking garage. 

Stunning Photos of the Milky Way Over Colorado and Utah National Parks + Monuments

Colorado is home to four national parks and eight national monuments. Our neighbors to the west, Utah, boasts five national parks and seven national monuments. Also within reach are the parks and monuments of New Mexico and Arizona.

If you're the road-trip type, they're all reachable in a day's drive from Colorado.

While the majority of tourists visiting these parks only witness the phenomenal views during the day, there's a sight to be seen under the stars.

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