Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pioneer Day

We had a very busy Pioneer Day, and a very fun one! Something about celebrating holidays with children just makes it more fun, don't you think? For our friends outside of Utah, Pioneer Day is a state holiday celebrating the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley, July 24, 1847. We celebrate in a manner fitting Independence Day: parades, picnics, fireworks, and gallons of sunscreen.

In the morning, we woke up and dressed as pioneers for the annual Ivins Pioneer Day Parade. Katie got to ride the float this year (although technically she's not old enough, I got permission). She did great! Both kids smiled and waved at the crowds in the 100 degree heat, while wearing bulkier clothes than usual, I was so proud of my little pioneers. Adam and Grandma Linda cheered us on and took pictures. I was thrilled not to have to wear a full dress or walk the parade route this year, sitting on the float in my bonnet was hot enough.

(We're the last three from the right--I'm in the blue bonnet waving, Isaiah's to the left of me, Katie to the left of him.)

We raced straight from the end of the parade to the car so we could make it to our last day of swim lessons, and the accompanying water party. We're so proud of them! The kids have learned a lot and are much more independent in their swimming skills.

We got dried off and headed back to the Ivins Park to make crafts. There were lots of booths and fun things going on, but after a busy morning, and because Adam and I are still not 100% from being sick, we stuck to the one thing that mattered to Isaiah: making a craft at our ward's booth. The kids each made a bracelet, then we came home and crashed for naps.

In the afternoon, the kids and I headed to Grandma Linda's for a reinactment of the trek west. It was tradition when I was a little girl to pack some pots and pans, food, and blankets into a wheelbarrow and "trek" around the house, pretending to stop for the night, eating sparse "meals," being attacked by Indians, etc. Grandma took them on a loop around her house, and the pioneers were tired and hot and ready for another activity. They both insisted it was great fun, though, and felt like "real" pioneers.

On our way home we stopped and bought our entertainment for the night . . . FIREWORKS! It took dragging out the whole evening, eating dinner late, starting baths well after actual bedtime, etc, to keep the kids going until it was dark enough to light them, but it was worth it. We got a pretty good selection, and with both Grandma Linda and Grandma Bubbles to share it with, it was a great time. One day Katie will decide fireworks are worth the noise, but I think the ones we light at home are much more endurable than the deafening ones they have at the Sunbowl for Independence Day. Isaiah was just enthralled with the shadows the lighted fireworks made, to the point that he had his back turned to sparkling show just to watch the effects behind us. They both enjoyed every last one of our many, many strobes as they danced in the flashing light.

It was a great holiday, one I've enjoyed more than any other this year, I think. Maybe it was the time spent as our little family instead of pleasing all the extended family. Or maybe it was just a serendipitous occasion. Either way, I hope you all enjoyed your Pioneer Day as well as we did!


Mama D said...

Sounds like you had a great day with a lot of fun traditions!

Jake and Stephanie Perrin said...

Sounds like a fun and busy day!

Suzy said...

It sounds like you have a wonderful celebration of Pioneer Day. I hope the kids survived their "trek."