In 1847 Brigham Young and his Mormon followers arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah. A number of Young's followers decided to continue on to California and Oregon on the Oregon Trail, some of them pushing carts because they had no oxen.
Many of these Mormon pioneers took a shortcut known as the "Goodale Cutoff" between Fort Hall, Idaho, and Fort Boise, a path that would lead them through a relatively lush area near the Wood River Valley—the future site of the city of Carey.
"The grass was higher than a horse's belly. There was water from the Wood River, and good fishing and hunting," said Carey Pioneer Days parade historian Vonnie Olson.
For the next 150 years, descendents of these pioneers farmed, ranched and built churches and schools in Carey.
Since about 1940, Carey has commemorated the arrival of Brigham Young to Salt Lake with the Carey Pioneer Days festival, a weekend marked by family reunions, a parade and rodeo.
The celebration will begin Friday, July 24, with a rodeo at 8 p.m. at the Blaine County Fairgrounds on Main Street in Carey. This is an open rodeo with stock provided by J3T.
Saturday's parade will begin at 10 p.m., featuring Grand Marshals Keith and Bonnie Justesen.
Carey Mayor Rick Baird said the Justesens and their children have always been active members of the community.
"Keith has long been a trusted community leader and continues to keep track of the mayor and keep him straight," Baird said.
"It's not very often that you get your whole family together at once," said Keith Justesen, a lifelong Carey farmer and rancher. "It will be very nice."
From 1979-1982, Justesen worked for Food Development Corp. in Libya and Saudi Arabia, sharing his agricultural expertise.
"The Italians drilled the wells and we prepared the ground," said Justesen, whose wife, Bonnie, was honored at the 2007 Heritage Court in Hailey. She is a devoted volunteer at the Carey Senior Center.
A luncheon at the Fairgrounds Pavilion will immediately follow the parade on Saturday, featuring music by the Kim Stocking Trio. A three-on-three volleyball tournament will fill the afternoon until the rodeo resumes at 8 p.m.
The Carey High School classes of 1959 and 1960 will celebrate a class reunion on Saturday. The theme of the Carey Pioneer Days parade this year is "America Is ...?"
Tony Evans: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carey Pioneer Days schedule of events:
· Friday, July 24:
8 p.m. Rodeo begins, tickets $5 in advance, $6 at the gate; for tickets go to Ireland Bank in Carey, or call Morgan Drage at 720-8220. To register call 823-4045.
· Saturday, July 25:
10 a.m.: Parade. The theme this year is "America Is ... ?"
11:30 a.m.: Luncheon and concert featuring the Kim Stocking Trio at Blaine County Fairgrounds, $5 per person, $20 per family.
11:30 a.m.: Three-on-three volleyball and basketball tournaments begin.
1 p.m.: Rodeo slack.
8 p.m: Rodeo resumes