Why Do We Have A Celebration On July 24th
Pioneer Day is a state holiday in Utah. It is celebrated on July 24th each year to commemorate the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The 24th celebration honors the bravery of the original settlers and their strength of character and physical endurance. Many families in St. Johns, Arizona have ancestors who were a part of this pioneer movement and were sent to settle St. Johns and the surrounding towns.
The First Pioneer Day Celebration: “The first statewide pioneer day celebration was held in this basin (Brighton, Utah) July 23-24, 1857. Headed by Brigham Young, the company reaching here (Brighton) July 23rd numbered 2,587 persons, with 464 carriages & wagons, 1,028 horses & mules, and 332 oxen & cows. A program of addresses, six brass bands, singing and dancing, was punctuated by salutes from a brass howitzer. U.S. flags were flown from two highest peaks and two highest trees . . .At noon July 24, Judson Stoddard . . . arrived with news of the advance of Johnson’s army against the “Mormons.” The company returned in orderly formation July 25th.” (Inscription on a Monument in Brighton, Utah)