Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Garrett Swain, left, Spencer Payne, Emily Payne and Katelyn Swain compete in a doughnut-eating contest at This Is the Place State Park on Saturday.

The sun was blazing down on the children as they took turns pushing the handcarts through the dirt.

Fortunately for these children, the handcarts were not full of their belongings, being pushed through the mountains. The children did not have to travel hundreds of miles on foot, either. They were enjoying their Saturday afternoon with their families at This Is the Place Heritage Park.

Hundreds of families came from across the valley Saturday to celebrate this year's Days of '47 Family Fun Day. The Days of '47 was traditionally a celebration of Latter-day Saint heritage, but today it commemorates the coming together of Mormons and non-Mormons to celebrate the society that has been built by pioneers of many different backgrounds.

On Saturday, families were able to tour models of pioneer-era homes and church buildings as well as visit the Petting Corral, "Where children and farm animals literally can meet face to face," according to the sign on the corral. Inside, there were llamas, cows, chickens and other farm animals available for hands-on enjoyment.

For those wishing to enjoy Days of '47 in a more 21st century style, Radio Disney was available to dance, sing and entertain. Children flocked to the Disney dancers, who offered prizes to kids participating in their activities, and there was even free pizza and ice cream.

But for Thomas and Heidi Pounds, the celebration wasn't about the free food and games. "We would have come if it cost money or not," said Thomas Pounds.

"We wanted to come so our kids could learn more about their pioneer heritage," explained Heidi Pounds.

Their daughter Jessica, 13, said her favorite part was visiting the Brigham Young House because, "There's a lot of cool stuff and it's really old." She enjoyed seeing the antique furniture and appliances there.

Jessica's younger siblings and cousins also enjoyed participating in the arts and crafts booths. These booths let children of all ages participate in painting, making bracelets and necklaces, and making a paper wagon as a memento of Saturday's activities.

This year's Family Fun Day marked the beginning of the Days of '47 Celebration with more family-friendly activities to follow over the next two weeks.

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