A photo history of Utah's impressive and bizarre Pioneer Day floats
If there's one thing Utah does well, it's parade floats — and this history of excellence goes back a looooooong time.
- Honestly, try to imagine putting some of these entries together without modern power tools.
Let's take a look at Pioneer Day parade handiwork of yore!
- These photos come from the Utah State Historical Society, via the University of Utah's Marriott Library.
A near-Disney-caliber float by modern standards rolls through Salt Lake City in 1897 — when only about 50,000 people lived here.
You know you've put a lot into your 1880 parade float when the roof on the fake log cabin is nicer than the real one on the building next to it.
Imagine the resources that went into this Depression-era float.
If you expected church wards and Utah businesses to restrict themselves to religious and Old West themes for Days of '47 parades, brace yourself.
Nothing says "pioneer heritage" like a frog being attacked by an alicorn dragon in an ice cave.
Would you like some grain with your torpedo?
Mermaids and ragey fish put on a show in 1940.
How are you going to market furs in July 1946 if not with bikini-clad women around a snowy ski lodge and a garden pergola?
Candy for the parade crowds, 1949.
Rockets and little girls in princess gowns in 1959.
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