In Utah, we have a state holiday called Pioneer Day on July 24th. It is to honor the pioneers that settled the Salt Lake Valley. Salt Lake’s biggest parade is held on Pioneer Day, and there are carnivals and fireworks shows all over the valley. July 24th is the day that Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormon Pioneers, entered the Salt Lake Valley and proclaimed, This is the Right Place.
One of the fun places to visit on Pioneer Day is This is the Place Heritage Park. It is a re-created Pioneer city, built to look like a Pioneer settlement in the 1850’s and 60’s. Many of the buildings were relocated from their original sites, and others are replicates of the original structures.
This is the Place Heritage Park is open all year, but it is especially fun to visit on special event days. We visited later in the day on July 24th, and wished we had come earlier to experience everything that was offered!
We started by learning how to wash laundry on a washboard.
Then we learned how to hang it out to dry.
Once the work was done, we played some Pioneer games, like rolling the hoops,
and walking on stilts. (This was way harder than it looks.)
Because it was Pioneer Day, there was a special event called a candy cannon. We all lined up along the road, and a big cannon spewed out candy for the kids to pick up. It was fun hearing the big BOOM and running after the candy.
We took a ride around Settler’s Pond on the mini train, and also rode the big train (wheeled) to get to our next destination. The Heritage Park is quite spread out, and it’s nice to have a rest on a hot summer day!
The mini train and the pony rides were included with admission, as well as one craft. Or, you can choose any combination of crafts and rides, up to three. Some of us chose the Native American beaded necklace, and some of us chose the leather stamping craft.
We all had a great time panning for gold!
Pioneer Heritage Park is a living history park, and everybody who works there dresses up in Pioneer clothing and acts the part of a pioneer. Here is a Pioneer woman dressed up in her Sunday best.
No hot summer day would be complete without cooling off in the irrigation station!
When you go to This is the Place Heritage Park, make sure to give yourself plenty of time! There are over 50 pioneer buildings to visit, in addition to all of the activities. Summer admission is $13.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors 65 and older, and $9.95 for children 3-11. Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM.
Do you think you would have liked being a pioneer?