Seventy-nine of Utah's 100-year-old citizens have been invited to attend the July 1 Centenarians Day celebration in recognition of their courage, strength and spirit in helping build the state, officials say.

"These centenarians have literally watched America go from horse and buggy transportation to man walking on the moon," said Robert Ward, director of the Division of Aging and Adult Services. "Where we are as a state and as individuals is in part due to these great pioneers."A reception sponsored by the division and hosted by Gov. Norm Bangerter and his wife, Colleen, will be held in the garden at the Governor's Mansion to honor the senior residents of the state, division spokeswoman Terry Twitchell said Thursday.

Last year, the oldest Utahn to attend the reception was 105 years old, Twitchell said.

The event will coincide with National Centenarians Day, coordinated by the National Institute on Aging, she said.