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‘Days of 47’ celebration expands to southern Utah

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Posted at 8:57 PM, May 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-28 22:57:40-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah  - Pioneer Day celebrations are held across the state on July 24, but the “Days of ’47” has been unique to Salt Lake County… until now.

The organization announced Wednesday they’re teaming up with Southern Utah communities to form “Days of ’47 Dixie.”

Historically, Washington City has put on the Pioneer Day celebration, but the newly formed Days of ‘47 Dixie organization said they’re looking at making that celebration a whole lot bigger.

“A lot of hands doing just a little bit, makes it so easy instead of just a few trying to do a lot,” said Days of ’47 Dixie president Rick Neilson.

Days of ‘47 has been working on the partnership for more than a year as a way to augment the celebration in Washington County. As a non-profit organization, they’ll be able to brand themselves and raise money for community events, allowing others to participate in the holiday festivities.

“Bringing all the communities together, Washington, Iron, Kane counties, who have that pioneer heritage,” Neilson said. “And celebrate those who have created what we have.”

Days of ‘47 traditionally celebrates the arrival of the pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley, but since it’s a state holiday, all Utahans take part, and community leaders are glad to see it expand.

“The larger pioneer effort extends certainly beyond Salt Lake,” said Dixie State University president Stephen Nadauld. “As a university here in St. George, we’re delighted to support what goes on in our communities.”

Neilson said they’re already planning the traditional parade, but hope to include various events to highlight the entire area, including a junior rodeo, Dutch Oven cook-off, and a pioneer reenactment.

For more information on the Days of ’47 Dixie organization, visit their website.