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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of July 23 - 29, 2003


Carey set to kick off Pioneer Days

Express Staff Writer

The Carey community will be out in force again this weekend to host the annual Pioneer Days celebration of Mormon settlers who came to the Salt Lake Valley over 150 years ago.

Key organizer for the annual Pioneer Days parade and owner of the 93 Express, Vonnie Olsen hosts informal, community gatherings every day. Express photo by Matt Furber

The summer event observes Brigham Young’s July 24, 1847 declaration identifying the region as the new province of Mormonism. It will draw spectators and participants from as far away as Texas and California, said 93 Express café owner and parade organizer Vonnie Olsen.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrate the historic date throughout the West. Carey was one of the early "colonies" that branched out from the Great Salt Lake area following the initial exodus of Mormons from the East.

A multi-class reunion starting at the Carey High School Friday at 12:30 p.m. kicks off the weekend. There will also be two nights of rodeo at 8 p.m., a 3-on-3 basketball tournament starting Saturday at 1 p.m., volleyball at the sand pits in the park, and a class reunion for anyone who went to Carey High School from 1931 to 1961.

The highlight of the weekend is the Pioneer Days parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by a community luncheon at the LDS church.

Recognizing their commitment to community, third generation Carey resident Ray Baird and his wife Carley have been selected as the grand marshals for this year’s parade, which already boasted over 75 entrants Monday, July 21. Participants can still sign up at the high school the morning of the parade. The Bairds will lead the procession on horseback.

For the people of Carey the annual event bookmarks the year as friends and family gather to bask in the spirit of their roots. But, the two-day event also draws many spectators who come from throughout southern Idaho.

It is not unusual to see families with five generations, said Olsen.

The City of Carey was incorporated in 1919 and the Pioneer Days parade has been ongoing since as long as anyone can remember.

Life-long local Bob Simpson, who graduated from Carey High School in 1960, said in an appointment at Olsen’s café he can remember going to the rodeo when he was 5 years old. Acting as grand marshal with his wife at this year’s parade, Ray Baird added it was all going on long before that because he remembers the festivities from his youth.

"And I’m 78," he said.

For those attending the class reunion being organized this year by members of the classes of 1953 and 1954, give or take a few years, there will be ample opportunity to sort out the details of history and talk about what’s been going on in everyone’s lives.

"Anyone who attended Carey High School during those years is invited," said reunion organizer Mary Green, class of ’53.

The organizers said over 115 alumni have registered, but they expect at least 150.

There will be a catered luncheon and time for any late registrations at 12:30 p.m. on Friday. There will be live music, drawing for prizes, including a grand prize of a hand made quilt.

The evening rodeo entertainment is free for anyone seven years old and younger and $5 for people eight years old and older.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.