I saw quite a few things that showed pioneers. I thought it was awesome because that's how Utah got started. —10-year-old Rachel Fletcher
SANDY — Parade fans got a sneak peek of Wednesday's Days of '47 KSL 5 Parade on Monday in air-conditioned comfort.
"What more could you ask for?" quipped parade committee member Cheri Colligan.
Floats were on display at the South Towne Expo Center Monday for spectators to take a closer look before the official parade. At the Okland Construction Float Preview Party, hundreds of children flitted around 30 floats doing scavenger hunts and admiring the glitter, symbols and various mechanical additions.
Sue Peebler comes to the Float Preview Party every year with her family.
"Even if we do the parade, as they go by you so fast you can't really see them as well," she said. "It's fun to look at the details."
The theme for this year's Days of '47 celebration is "Pioneers — Our Anchor for the Future," which was incorporated into the floats.
"I saw quite a few things that showed pioneers," said 10-year-old Rachel Fletcher. "I thought it was awesome because that's how Utah got started."
People cast their ballots for the People's Choice and the Children's Choice awards Monday and will continue to do so on Tuesday. The results will be revealed during the parade.
Aleah Hair, 7, said she liked the Bluffdale City float that had an elephant and a carriage.
"I like the elephant because it was pretty," she said.
Andi Wuthrich, 8, said she liked the futuristic Holladay South Stake float featuring missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and aliens.
"Aliens are fun," she said.
Children flocked around the Salt Lake Olympus Stake float where they used a mini telescope to find various symbols located on the float.
Leslie Lorimer, committee chairwoman for the stake, said the float, a giant ship, was inspired by Brigham Young, who referred to the early LDS Church and its settlers as the "good ship Zion."
Atop the ship are a lion and a lamb looking forward with a telescope, a beehive complete with rotating bees, and an angel Moroni at the bow of the ship.
"We were committed to making it be what we had dreamed about as an opportunity to honor our pioneer heritage," Lorimer said. "It's a demonstration of faith and devotion."
Children also made their way to the Salt Lake East Millcreek Stake float topped with a working mill and a skunk that will lift its tail and spray spectators with water during the parade.
Doreen Yates, committee co-chairwoman for the float, said she stopped counting volunteer hours after getting into the thousands. Despite the countless time invested, Yates said their float will only be in the Days of '47 Parade.
"We're paying tribute to those in our community that got things started for us and made it such a beautiful place to live," she said. "And that's what makes it so worth it."
Jackie Miller, Sandy Cottonwood Creek Stake float chairwoman, said their float focuses on the Perpetual Education Fund set up by former LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.
"There are things because of (the pioneer's) great sacrifices that are helping people all over the world," Miller said. "Our pioneers sacrificed, and we are the beneficiaries."3 comments on this story
Many other LDS stakes were represented at the preview party as well as floats from the Utah Lutheran Schools, Wal-Mart, Primary Children's Medical Center, Chinese Society of Utah, Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.
The Float Preview Party will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and is free to the public. The parade begins Wednesday at 9 a.m. in downtown Salt Lake City.