Annual Pioneer Day celebration in Monticello featured large crowds and plenty of action
Jul 25, 2012 | 7714 views | 0 0 comments | 133 133 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Large crowds enjoyed a raucous Pioneer Day celebration on July 21 in Monticello. The Pioneer Day parade featured Grand Marshal Ked Somerville, who was accompanied in the parade route by two of his mules, HonkaDonk and Katie Cat.

Rye and Dianne Nielson were also honored for their community service. Monticello Citizen of the Year Robin Garner was honored, as were the Miss San Juan and Blue Mountain Roundup Rodeo royalties.

The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers sponsored a float, as did a number of local businesses and LDS wards. The theme of the parade and celebration was “I Ride for the Brand”.

A large number of vaguely familiar people manned the floats of the Monticello High School graduating classes, which held reunions over the weekend. Alumni from near and far enjoyed the reunions, which featured many stories of questionable veracity. One of the best comments heard was, “Well… at least their hair is thinning.”

Speaking of antiques, an impressive display of antique farm equipment made its way down Main Street, beginning with John Johnson on a restored antique combine followed closely by a massive new John Deere combine.

A score or more of antique tractors led the way for the restored Big 4 tractor to rumble down the street. The tractor pull later in the day was attended by a large crowd of tractor aficionados.

The festival in Veterans Memorial Park was crowded with more than 40 vendors and hundreds of celebrants. Highlights included dozens of food choices, clothes and accessory booths.

A dunking tank raised more than $600 for the Monticello Beautification Committee to plant and water the pesky petunias that grace Main and Center streets.

Pioneer Day started early on July 21, with celebrants given a choice. Nearly 100 people participated in the 5K race, while many more chose the Lions Club breakfast. The race was dominated by the MHS cross country team, while the bacon eating was dominated by MHS alumni.

The talent show featured a host of talent, including the singing voice and ukulele of winner Shylee Allen. One highlight was the previously underappreciated guitar skills of Dave Moore. Van Lady Love performed a concert on Friday evening in beautiful conditions.

The fast pitch softball tournament was one of the most competitive events in many years, as 14 teams fought for the top title. Three nationally ranked teams finished at the top of the standings.

A mud bog at the county fair grounds brought a new form of celebration to Pioneer Days.

At the end of the evening, a large fireworks celebration under the darkening skies of an approaching monsoon storm brought an end to the Pioneer Day celebration.

Pioneer Day is made possible through the volunteer efforts of dozens of local residents, led by the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and its executive director, Bayley Rogers.
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