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Ogden honors pioneer roots

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Children watch the Ogden Pioneer Days Parade down Washington Blvd. last summer. (Signpost Archives)

The 4th of July has come and gone, but the festivities have just begun. Utah celebrates the entire month of July with the beginning dedicated to independence day, and the rest of the month celebrated in a much larger fashion due to Pioneer Days.

As a transplant to Utah, year after year I am surprised by how much bigger the Pioneer Days celebration is, but I guess I shouldn’t be considering the Ogden sign welcomes all to the “Home of Weber State University” and “Pioneer Days Week July 24th.”

Many might’ve seen the horses that go up throughout downtown, but many don’t know these horses have a connection to the Pioneer Days.

“The ‘Trail to Pioneer Days’ horse project is one of the largest public art projects of its kind in Utah,” the Ogden Pioneer Days event history said. “More than 60 life-size fiberglass horses designed and painted by the area’s finest artists are on display along Historic 25th Street, the Junction and Washington Boulevard. They lead the way to Ogden Pioneer Stadium where Ogden Pioneer Days originated and where the feeling of the American West still lives.”

From June 24, when the horses were put up, until July 29, 2016, Ogden will be holding events that remind people of Utah’s Pioneer history by bringing America’s West to the streets.

On July 18, there will be a horse and parade show at 7 p.m. on Washington Boulevard from 18th Street to Historic 25th St. Following the parade, a picnic will be held at the Ogden Pioneer Stadium. The night will conclude with a Western movie screening of “Man from Snowy River” at 8 p.m.

On July 19, YCC has teamed up with Ogden Pioneer Days’ Hoedown to host “Real Men Can Cook.” This event is to promote positive male role models by having these real men serve up samples of their favorite dishes.

Lunch to this event costs $15 and will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ogden Marriot. Dinner will showcase 50 different local chefs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ogden Municipal Gardens. A dinner sample costs $1 for each chef. All proceeds go to help YCC.

From July 20 – July 23, Ogden will host one of the largest outdoor rodeos. For more information on the rodeo or tickets, visit the Ogden Pioneer Days Website.

This year, the big events happen on July 25.

At 9 a.m., the Pioneer Days Grand Parade begins on Washington Blvd and will run from 30th Street to 20th Street.

At 6:30 p.m. the rodeo picks back up from their slack day on July 24. Once the rodeo is over, Fireworks will follow at the Ogden Pioneer Stadium.

This year Ogden Pioneer Days will conclude on July 29 with an “Old Dominion” concert at 8 p.m. at the Ogden Amphitheater. Tickets are $30 for reserved seats and $20 for general admission and can be purchased from smithtix.

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