Elder Rasband Shares Importance Of This Year’s Pioneer Day Celebration In Utah

Jul 19, 2021, 8:37 AM | Updated: Jul 13, 2023, 3:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — For many Utahns, watching or participating in the Days of ’47 Parade is a tradition that dates back several generations.

Last year, the pandemic sidelined that tradition. But this year, it’s back and better than ever.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been named the parade’s grand marshal.

He shared his thoughts with KSL TV about why this celebration is so important to the state of Utah.

“This is a celebration of our pioneer heritage. It’s a celebration of what made Utah, Utah,” Rasband said.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (KSL TV)

“So, the theme for the Days of ’47 Parade this year is ‘Pioneer Spirit Alive Today.’ With that theme, how does that apply to us right now?” KSL TV’s Mike Headrick asked Rasband.

“I think everyone, Mike, is trying to understand how we all come out of a worldwide pandemic, and I like the last part of that — alive today. I mean, what it really says is we’re back and we’re alive, and we’re contributing and we’re celebrating, and we’re honoring those who’ve gone before us,” said Rasband.

“What have you learned, or what do you believe we should have learned over the course of the past year?” asked Headrick.

“Well, I’ve learned that time is important, spent in a priority basis, and that everything does not have the same priority to it. So you’re, at least I have been forced to focus on the things that matter most,” said Rasband.

“I’ve learned how valuable personal interaction is. As wonderful as seeing hundreds, literally hundreds of people on zoom individual screens from their home, there’s nothing like being with them — to be able to shake their hands to give them a brief embrace. There’s so much more that goes with being able to be with people,” he added.

“Now, will we take some of the lessons from that time?” Headrick asked.

“Oh, yes. What we’ve learned with technology has been huge,” replied Rasband.

“So, being the grand marshal is kind of a big deal,” Headrick said to the Church leader.

“Well, for me, it is. I mean, for others, maybe not. But I’m excited to wear Levi’s and a cowboy shirt and a Stetson hat and to ride with Sister Rasband and a few of my grandkids in the car. And yeah, it’s a big deal to me. I’m just a regular Utah country boy, and to be the grand marshal of anything sounds like a pretty wonderful event for me,” said Rasband.

“What would be your final, your parting words to the state of Utah this Pioneer Day?” Headrick asked.

“Let’s have a fantastic Pioneer celebration. Let’s line the parade route with people who come to see all of these beautiful floats that have been prepared locally here in the state, to go down the parade route with bands and horses, and let’s celebrate together as we all come alive with the pioneer spirit in the Pioneer Day celebration. And I’ll look forward to being there with all of you,” said Rasband.

The parade will be broadcast on KSL TV on Friday, July 23, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Be sure to tune in and enter our Watch and Win contest to win $500 in cash!

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Elder Rasband Shares Importance Of This Year’s Pioneer Day Celebration In Utah