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Utah wants to “celebrate like it’s 2002” on Pioneer Day

Utah wants to “celebrate like it’s 2002” on Pioneer Day

SALT LAKE CITY — Pioneer Day was created to celebrate the day in 1847 when the first settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley to establish what is now Utah. But this year’s celebration goes beyond honoring the past.

Several Utah cities will also be celebrating plans to welcome the world in the future on July 24.

The Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games has released plans for the “2034 Celebration” on Pioneer Day, coinciding with the expected vote by the International Olympic Committee to award Salt Lake City the 2034 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“We want to show even more of our state pride and celebrate like it’s 2002,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “I want to hear all of your cheers from Washington Square in Paris on July 24 when they vote ‘yes.'”

The celebrations begin very early on July 24th in Salt Lake City.

Most of the Utah committee will be in Paris to deliver its final address to the IOC at 11 a.m. Paris (3 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time). The approximately 30-minute presentation will be broadcast live from Washington Square around the Salt Lake City-County Building, 451 S. State, the same venue where Utah celebrated hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics in 1995.

IOC officials are expected to vote at 4 a.m. on whether to award the 2034 Games, before the official announcement is expected at 4:20 a.m. All events will also be streamed live.

The Salt Lake City-Utah 2034 “transition logo” will be unveiled around 5:30 a.m. Since the voting and announcement will take place so early in the morning, food trucks will be set up to hand out breakfast foods.

“There will be plenty of caffeinated beverages and, most importantly, hopefully adrenaline,” Mendenhall said. “We want you to bring your friends, your family and your children because we are going to create a new, central memory as a community.”

Those who stay will get a prime spot for the Days of ’47 Parade, which will pass along the east side of Washington Square later in the morning. The parade is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., starting in front of Temple Square and ending in Liberty Park. The city will also host a Pioneer Day drone show in Liberty Park in the evening.

Additional Celebrate 2034 events are planned outside Salt Lake City on July 24:

  • Charleston, in Wasatch County, will raise the Salt Lake City-Utah Olympic flag among other flags at its Pioneer Day flag raising at 6:45 a.m. There will be live music and fireworks later in the day.
  • A celebration will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Utah Olympic Park, 3419 Olympic Parkway in Park City. The event will feature food, music, activities, giveaways and other events, including meet-and-greets with Olympic athletes and a free performance by the Flying Ace All-Stars Freestyle Show team.
  • Free public ice skating, fireworks and a meet-and-greet of Olympic athletes are planned for the evening at Peaks Ice Arena, 100 N. Seven Peaks Blvd. in Provo.

Catherine Raney Norman, chair of the Salt Lake City and Utah Games Committee, said the committee is working with the association of cities to potentially add more statewide events by July 24. Free Olympic-themed stickers will be available for visitors to the various events.

But Norman – one of the many delegates heading to Paris for the final presentation – is taking things step by step, looking forward to the possible “yes” vote and observing the morning crowd from afar.

“I can’t wait to see you all virtually from Paris,” she said. “I’m looking for the best red, white and blue pajama outfit at 3 a.m.