And a good time was had by all, except Gunn McKay.
That was the story at the Bountiful Handcart Days Parade Saturday night as McKay stood on the sidelines and watched incumbent Jim Hansen drive by in a blue luxury convertible. McKay was snubbed by parade officials who didn't want "candidates" in their parade, according to McKay campaign manager Russell Clark.McKay and Hansen are both running for the 1st Congressional District seat.
"Some of the parades, to my understanding, only want incumbents or those in office to participate in the parade. I guess in the actual parade itself they have got a right to do that."
Clark said it seems unfair to allow both candidates and incumbents in parades during an election year.
While Hansen got the attention, McKay watched and his supporters handed out campaign fliers.
"I don't know whether parade officials were overreacting with strict control or just, instead, partisan politics. I think it's unfair," Clark said.
Most paradegoers didn't even miss McKay, as they braved the hot evening sun with umbrellas and cold drinks. They cheered as some 85 entries passed by. Some of the most bizarre included a tuba retrofitted into a bicycle and Bountiful High's Mandonelles wearing hot pink leopard skins while riding unicycles. Ten bands, including a senior citizen's jazz band, bagpipe bands and a marching band from Racine, Wis., also participated.
Don Perkins, retiring Bountiful High School principal, was grand marshal of the parade.
Mayors from South Davis County cities were driven through downtown Bountiful. Horses, old tractors and antique cars also made their way down Main Street.
The parade was also a preview of some floats that will appear Monday in the Days of '47 parade in Salt Lake City. Included were entries from Bountiful LDS Stakes with typical Mormon Pioneer themes. The "miracle of the sea gulls," exodus from Nauvoo and the pioneer encampment at Winter Quarters were celebrated with decorated wood, plastic and chicken wire.
Decked out in a yellow calico bonnet and long dress, Becky Jensen, 10, said she liked the celebration because it helps people remember the pioneers. She was distributing miniature loaves of bread in honor of the wheat saved when the sea gulls came.
"I like the feeling of all of the people paying respect to pioneers who traveled a long way to get here," said Brannon Richardson, 10, who was wearing a pioneer-style neckerchief.
He said he wasn't sure he would want to be a pioneer, especially if it was as hot as it was Saturday evening.
Pioneer Day activities continue throughout the weekend with a fireside speech by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sunday in Bountiful; Draper Days fun run and fireworks; Fiesta Days in Spanish Fork; and Days of '47 Rodeo, marathon and parade in Salt Lake City.