A photographic look at how Days of '47 floats have changed — or not — from 1897 to 2014 (55 items)

By Deseret News

July 16, 2014

The streets of Salt Lake City are filled with horses, motorcycles, clowns and — most noticeably — fantastical floats created out of wood, foam and sparkles (among other things) at the annual Days of '47 Parade.

Here's a photographic look at how Days of '47 Parade floats have changed over time, starting with the 1897 parade and working forward.

Related: The ultimate Pioneer Day challenge: Test your knowledge of Utah's heritage

Related: A photographic look back at the Days of '47 Parade, from 1864 to 2013

Related: See what the pioneers thought, felt as they first came to the Salt Lake Valley

Related: From Kings Peak to Bryce Canyon, meet 26 of the faces behind Utah places

1 of 55. 1897

This horse-drawn float carrying a huge beehive was one of the entries in the July 24, 1897 parade. The event marked a half century since pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley.

2 of 55. 1897

The Pioneer Jubilee parade occurred on July 24, 1897, and celebrated 50 years in the Salt lake Valley, as well as the state's first year of statehood. This photo shows a dragon float moving down the streets of Salt Lake City.

3 of 55. 1897

A float representing Utah County is pulled by horses in the 1897 Pioneer Jubilee celebrating the 50th anniversary of the arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.

4 of 55. 1905

This photograph shows switchboard workers riding on a Utah Independent Telephone Company float in the 1905 Pioneer Day Parade.

5 of 55. 1912

A group of Franciscan monks ride in the Pioneer Day Parade at Liberty Park.
1. BYU Joe
July 20, 2014

Pretty sure we had color film by at least 1970 - maybe not in Utah.

2. Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT,
July 20, 2014

@BYU Joe

"Pretty sure we had color film by at least 1970 - maybe not in Utah."

Keep in mind that these were newspaper photos and it wasn't until much later that they began using color photographs with news stories. It not only wouldn't have made sense to waste money on color film for the paper, but it wouldn't have reproduced as well in black and white.