Pioneer Day is celebrated July 24.
Pioneer Day is arguably the utmost significant day of the year to Mormons, followers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). It is celebrated on July 24 annually in Utah and surrounding states in memory of the entry of the first Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley.
How Mormons Settled in Utah
Led by Brigham Young, the Mormon pioneers were fleeing religious oppression and harassment in Nauvoo, Illinois, and in other areas in the eastern United States. After bolting from their homes in February 1846, the Mormons ventured into the unfamiliar American West in search for a different home to practice their faith peacefully. The journey was long, treacherous and arduous dogged by disease and many succumbing on the way.
The Mormon pioneers reached the valley on July 21, 1847, and Young affirmed that the place was right, exactly as he had seen it in a vision. They proceeded to colonize the previously uninhabited valley creating a civilization that would later become the present day state of Utah.
Today, parades, concerts, and fireworks are used to celebrate Pioneer Day by members of the LDS Church across the globe. Pageants and reenactments of the trek west also grace this day’s celebrations. This is done through walks on portions of the Mormon trail and by songs and dances from the pioneer era.
Also known as the Days of ’47, Pioneer Day is a Utah State holiday marked with the Pioneer Day Concert. This spectacular event features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir along with a celebrity guest singer. On this day, many businesses and government offices are closed.
In memory of the Mormon Pioneers, the LDS Church continues to encourage Mormons worldwide to pioneer venture into the uncharted in whatever field one may be. In the words of Gordon B. Hinckley: “Each of us is a pioneer and many of us pioneer daily in trying to establish a gospel foothold in distant parts of the world.”