From a quiet stroll along a secluded mountain ridge to a loud, jam-packed and well-attended parade, there are many Top of Utah activities in which to participate on Pioneer Day.
The 10 a.m. Ogden Pioneer Days parade down Washington Boulevard and the crowning of the new Miss Rodeo Utah at the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo beginning with pre-rodeo at 6:30 p.m. at Ogden Pioneer Stadium, 668 17th St., get top publicity, but there are other, lesser-known activities that will prove to be spectacular.
After much study, the top five recommendations for Pioneer Day are:
* Camping at Antelope Island State Park
"We don't typically see a lot of people that day," said Susan Parker, gate manager at Antelope Island. The gateway to the island is at 4528 W. 1700 South in Syracuse.
Perhaps it is because crowds attend other events that the island usually experiences a light day throughout the park, which can include such activities as hiking, horseback riding, swimming and boat rentals.
Parker said camping spaces are usually still available July 24, even for people who show up without a reservation.
And the Pioneer Day holiday is great for visiting the island, she said, because the biting gnats that are pesky in the springtime are gone from the area. She said people may have to put up with an occasional horsefly, but those are nothing compared to the gnats.
The cost of this activity is admittance into Antelope Island, which is $9 a carload for a day.
* Attending a grand-opening celebration at the Weber County Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum
Newly relocated to 2104 Lincoln Ave. from the site of the Ogden Temple, the museum will have a ribbon-cutting celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, complete with refreshments, music and activities reminiscent of the pioneer period.
Until this spring, the museum had been closed for two years for the move.
"When we put the museum back together, the whole philosophy was different," said Marti Clayson, chief information officer for the Weber County Daughters of Utah Pioneers. "When you walk into the museum itself, it looks much more open and inviting, because the things are not in glass cases."
Clayson said visitors to the museum will all be able to see something of interest that is readily visible, including some donated art pieces, Clayson said.
"Those art pieces, especially of the Indians, were put away in a corner," she said. "Now, we have made them much more prominent ... in the museum. It is much more representative of the Indian presence with the pioneers. They were interacting all the time."
A Victorian parlor that was on the main floor is now in the basement and in an expanded format.
Also, a handcart upstairs is now loaded with things that people would have actually had in their handcart.
"It's very sobering," Clayson said. "It really hits home to me."
* Attending Taste of the Town at Layton Commons Park
While this 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. event at 437 N. Wasatch Drive has been going on for 12 years, organizers say if you have not attended in the past four years, consider yourself a newcomer.
For $1 per ticket or 12 tickets for $10, those who visit Taste of the Town get large-sized samples from restaurant vendors who offer a taste of the food that attracts their customers.
"We made it much more friendly for vendors and the public," said Jim Smith, president of the Davis Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event. "Now, we share the revenue with the vendors, and the sample sizes have grown into portions."
Smith said families can feed themselves with the 12 samples they get for their $10.
And yearly attendees have discovered a way to make their experience easy by bringing a box or other container to help them cart their large portions to where they set up picnics on blankets throughout the park.
Smith recommended sticking around until 8 p.m. for Riders in the Sky, a free concert at the Ed Kenley Centennial Amphitheater inside the park.
"If you want to go and laugh your head off, that's the one for you," Smith said.
* Hiking at Malan's Peak
"Take a hike on the 24th," said Pam Parkinson, a member of the Weber Pathways board of directors.
With a trailhead at the top of 29th Street, the 4.8-mile hike at Malan's Peak is known as a shady mountain stroll.
"It's a wonderful, cool, shady place for a hot summer day," Parkinson said. She recommends going early and watching the Ogden Pioneer Days parade in miniature from Malan's Peak.
"Located on the east side of Ogden, the summit of Malan's Peak offers dramatic views out over the community, the Great Salt Lake and the surrounding mountains," states a description of the trailhead at utah.com.
"There are excellent views at several points along the trail, and so you don't have to make it to the summit to enjoy a hike here."
The trail is signed and easy to follow, states the website. "The route is somewhat steep, but not too bad. Take it slow, and anyone can make this hike."
* Attend a pioneer cultural event
Box office managers at the Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main St. in Logan, said numerous tickets remain for tonight's Pioneers and Patriots, an annual performance of the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre.
"Celebrate Pioneer Day and the western pioneer spirit with fanfares, patriotic music, a stirring salute to the men and women in our Armed Forces, and more," states event information.
"This combination of popular tunes, rousing military anthems, a variety of lighthearted favorites and irresistible classical melodies will have you on your feet, cheering."
The 7:30 p.m. program features the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre orchestra and ensembles from the group.
The music will include "America the Beautiful," "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "The American Frontier," as well as popular tunes from the pioneer trail such as "Come, Come Ye Saints" and American folk songs.
The box office will remain open today from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., when the concert begins. Tickets are $10 to $40.
To purchase tickets, call 800-262-0074.