Pioneer Day Parade Route Turns Into Massive Campout Night Before Parade Kicks Off


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Thousands of Utahns have lined up all along the Pioneer Day parade route.  Many bringing camping gear and settling in for the night ahead of tomorrow mornings festivities.

“It’s freaking Pioneer Day, man!  That’s what it’s all about it,” said one teenager camping out with friends and family.

Tents, upon tents, upon tents going up all along 200 E on Sunday, many people arriving in the early hours of the morning to set up.

“We’ll be camping out for close to 24 hours before the parade starts and we’ve done this for about 15 years with our little family,” said Angela Keddington.

Setting up near the corner of 200 E and 500 S, she says her family got a prime location for the parade, their campsite nestled in between the trees in Washington Square Park.  The Days of ‘Parade and the camp out that takes place the night before has been a family tradition since Angela was a little girl, and she hopes her children will also continue the tradition as they raise families of their own.  

Little Chaz has been coming to the parade every year of his life – he’s 5 years old – and says he can’t wait for the floats to come down the street.

“There’s a float with a deer on it and my dad likes to go hunting so I like that float,” he said.  

Mike Sierra has spent every year for over 50 years camping out along the Days of ’47 parade.  He did it as a kid and today he arrived early in the morning to get a prime spot to watch the parade.  For him it’s all about making the kids and his family happy.

“They look forward to it every year and they push for it,” he said.  “My wife she helps set it up and I’ve been here since 8 o’clock,” he added.

And there is so much for families to do and enjoy.  The Utah weather provide the perfect backdrop for families to enjoy a game of soccer, throw around a frisbee, play board games, have a BBQ, many playing Pokemon Go together.  It’s all about quality family time.

“We get to spend time with the family and it’s like on big sleepover.” said one little girl. 

Making memories these families hope it will inspire their children to continue this tradition as they wait to celebrate another year of Utah’s history. 

“It’s just a lot of fun energy.  You see a lot of fun and crazy things,” says Keddington.

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