Days of ‘47 Parade: The show before the show
On the streets of downtown Salt Lake City, where participants in the annual Days of ‘47 Parade wait for their turn to start on the route, the atmosphere Thursday morning was one of anticipation of a hot, taxing and fun day.
"Having 40 pounds of dead weight on one shoulder is pretty grueling," said Jackson Smith, 17, leader of the sousaphone section of the Davis High School marching band.
For Alexis Callister, Miss Herriman, riding on a float can be tricky.
"It is a rocky ride, a lot of stop-and-go," Callister said as she prepared to take her place at the front of the Herriman City float. "It definitely tests your balance."
For Miss Draper, Karli Bird, the problem is having to smile for the two miles of the parade route.
"Your face hurts a little bit," Bird said. "You start to yawn from smiling so much."
Bird and her attendants, Brynn Garfield and Lexi Smith, said they try to vary the way they wave — but spectators will often shout the traditional pageant wave, "elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist."
Callister tries to mix it up when she waves. "I try not to be so stereotypical," Callister said. "I try to put my own spin on it, so they can see as much of me as I can put on a moving vehicle."
On Main Street, Chief Kurt Cook of the Salt Lake City Fire Department polishes a 1931 Mack fire engine that once served the city.
"This was a state-of-the-art front-line machine back in the day," Cook said. The engine, now owned and maintained by the Salt Lake City Relief Association, is brought out of the warehouse around half a dozen times a year for parades, funerals and other public events, Cook said.
Lindsey Thurber, a cheerleader for Salt Lake Community College, might have her squad’s most important job: Pulling the wagon carrying the water jug.
"Without this, nobody gets water," Thurber said.
The parade, Thurber said, "is very hot and long, but it’s fun performing for people."