BOUNTIFUL — If you want a great seat at this year's Bountiful Handcart Days Grand Parade, you have to get to Main Street early — but not too early.

The city forbids parade spectators from setting up chairs before 7 a.m. on Wednesday, the day of the parade, but people have been known to show up much earlier with gear in hand to wait until 7 a.m. arrives, said parade co-chairman Ben Booth.

With an estimated 60,000 to 65,000 attendees last year, it might do some good to save a spot before the parade's 6 p.m. start time.

"There will be a lot of people down there hanging out, cooking breakfast," Booth said. "It's getting to be bigger and bigger every year."

The parade begins at 1500 S. Main and heads north to 400 N. Main before turning west for one block, where parade marchers will disband.

Booth said he expects the parade to last nearly two hours.

This year's parade will feature three bagpipe groups and 15 marching bands, with Pine View High School from St. George traveling the farthest to Bountiful.

Five veterans from different branches of the military will serve as grand marshals, and various floats will be featured, including one each from the Murray and Woods Cross stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. TheyThe floats will also will take a turn in the Days of '47 Parade Thursday in Salt Lake City.

This year marks the 58th Bountiful Handcart Days Grand Parade, sponsored by the 14 LDS stakes in Bountiful, West Bountiful and Woods Cross.

Responsibilities for various aspects of Handcart Days rotate among the stakes every year, Booth said.

This year, starting with the Bountiful Exchange Club and ending with Walton Concrete, the parade features 105 entries, 11 more than the 2007 parade.

"It's meant to honor the handcart pioneers who came across the plains and came out here and settled," Booth said.

So of course, Booth says, there will be a handcart presence during the parade, as well.

A local family will dress in pioneer clothing and pull a handcart, and so will various church youth groups who re-enacted or will re-enact the pioneer trek this summer.


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