2020 Days Of ’47 Parade, Activities Canceled Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Apr 28, 2020, 5:00 PM | Updated: 9:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – All “Days of ’47” Pioneer Day Celebration activities have been canceled for 2020  due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from organizers.

Days of ’47 Board of Trustees President Lane Summerhays said the decision was not taken lightly and was made after thorough consideration from all applicable sources.

Among the annual events that will not take place this year were the Days of ’47 Parade, Rodeo, Pioneers of Progress Dinner, Sunrise Service, Royalty Pageant and Pops Concert.

“It is a huge tradition,” said Greg James, Days of ’47 executive vice president. “We haven’t canceled the parade since the First and Second World Wars. This is the first time in a long time that this has even been a consideration.”

Board officials also said although conditions may change between now and July, a deadline had to be imposed and a decision made due to the considerable work that would need to be done before Pioneer Day.

“You’ve got float builders who have to build floats. You’ve got stakes who participate in building floats, bands that have to rehearse,” said James.

With so many people packed in for the fun, the board did not see any way it could make social distancing work without risking lives.

“It’s just not worth the risk of assembling all of those people right now, putting them at risk, and then putting a larger crowd at risk,” said James.

The parade is the largest in the state of Utah and was slated for 9 a.m. on July 24. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were also scheduled to start that same day, until officials announced they would be postponed to 2021.

Longtime KSL TV anchor Deanie Wimmer grew up enjoying the Days of ’47 traditions and has hosted the parade for more than a decade.

“It has just been kind of the quintessential celebration of our state,” said Wimmer. “So it was disappointing. I understand the reasons, obviously, but it was just one of the rites of summer.”

KSL TV parade coverage is one of the most-watched TV programs in Utah every year. Wimmer said she especially appreciates the creativity, hard work and inclusiveness that goes into the parade.

“You see entries from different churches and different businesses,” she said. “You’ll have young people in marching bands, older people in vintage cars, horses…a nod to every one of our bits of history.”

Families were invited to “bring the kids, the sleeping bags and the hot dogs downtown” the night before the parade. Camping out to reserve a spot along the parade route has been a tradition among Utahns for years, although there would have been some restrictions.

The annual Deseret News Marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k races also held on July 24, will also be canceled this year.

“Based on the coronavirus and the desire to keep runners and the public safe, we need to cancel the races this year,” said Mike Todd, CFO and associate publisher of the Deseret News and race organizer. “Our desire is to give the runners an option to get a refund of their entry fee or defer their entry fee to next year’s races.”

Those who signed up will receive an email this week informing them of what actions they need to take for a refund.

Organizers said they are now looking forward to 2021.

“We’ll do something special next year,” said James. “I don’t know what it will be, but we’ll do something fun.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Man accused of exposing himself at Utah store...
Shara Park

Man accused of exposing himself to underage girls at Utah store

The owner of Rad Swim in Highland is warning Utah families after she says a man exposed himself to her associate and several young girls in her store Monday evening.
22 hours ago
High school teammates play in Super Bowl...
Ayanna Likens

2 former Stansbury High School teammates to faceoff in the Super Bowl

Two former Stansbury High School football teammates will face each other as rivals in the Super Bowl.
22 hours ago
HOV lanes for pregnant women...
Katija Stjepovic

House passes bill allowing pregnant women to drive solo in HOV lanes

Pregnant women may soon be allowed to drive solo in HOV lanes after a bill allowing just that passed in the Utah House of Representatives Friday.
22 hours ago
(Matt Rascon/KSL TV)...
Matt Rascon & Eliza Pace

KSL+: Healing in schools after Enoch tragic shooting

In the weeks following the tragic shooting in Enoch that killed five children, the school community continues to feel the impact.
22 hours ago
FILE (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)...
Madison Swenson

Two Utah county men, business charged with $11M COVID tax fraud scheme

Two Utah County men, as well as an accounting business in Provo, have been charged with a COVID-related tax fraud scheme totaling more than $11 million.
22 hours ago
Elk herd near Parleys Canyon...
Jed Boal

3 elk die after herd wanders onto roads near Parleys Canyon

A large herd of elk continues to keep motorists and state troopers on high alert near the mouth of Parleys Canyon.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
2020 Days Of ’47 Parade, Activities Canceled Due To Coronavirus Pandemic