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Take the trail to Ogden Pioneer Days

By Deann Armes - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Jul 7, 2022
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Ogden Pioneer Days rodeo at Ogden Pioneer Stadium in 2021.
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A painted fiberglass horse on Historic 25th Street in 2021, part of the annual “Trail to Pioneer Days” public art project with over 60 life-sized horses, leads the way to Ogden Pioneer Stadium.
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Leading up to its famous five-day rodeo, Ogden Pioneer Days celebrates Ogden's unique heritage with art, music, parades and more.

Mayor Harman Peery started Ogden Pioneer Days in 1934 to bring hope to Ogden City during the Great Depression. Joining the existing statewide Pioneer Day celebrations of Salt Lake City's early settlers but with its own slant, Peery's Ogden-focused festivities aimed to boost community spirits while capitalizing on the rodeo interests of rich cattle ranchers and attracting tourism to Ogden. Intending for Ogden Pioneer Days to be a nationally recognized affair, Peery invited Hollywood stars, and even the U.S. president to attend -- FDR declined but Abbott and Costello made an appearance.

Ogden's welcome arch, also conceived of by Peery, still boasts "Ogden Pioneer Days, Week of July 24" in red neon lights.

Eighty-eight years later, the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, the main event of the monthlong celebration, is a top-five rodeo in the nation that draws over 30,000 attendees each year. Other events leading up to the rodeo and grand parade on Pioneer Day started July 1 and continue all month long.

OGDEN PIONEER DAYS EVENTS

  • (Now-July 30) Traces of the West: The annual statewide art competition and exhibit opened on July 1 and is free and open to the public at Eccles Art Center.
  • (July 8) Cowboy Concert on the Plaza: Robin Arnold, of Roy, will play live music at The Junction starting at 8 p.m.
  • (July 11) Horse & Hitch Parade: Starting at 7 p.m., horses of every color, size and breed will go clippity-clop along the streets of downtown Ogden.
  • (July 12) Special Kids Rodeo: This event at Lorin Farr Park is free and open to children ages 14 and younger with special needs.
  • (July 17) Lindquist Pops Concert and Fireworks: The annual event at WSU pond is a community favorite, bigger than the Fourth of July in Ogden.
  • (July 20-25) PRCA Rodeo: This five-day nationally renowned rodeo is highly popular and sells out quickly.
  • (July 25) July 24th Parade: The Ogden Pioneer Days Grand Parade, held annually downtown on Pioneer Day, happens on Monday, July 25 (holiday observed) this year.

Find more event details and purchase rodeo tickets at ogdenpioneerdays.com.

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