The 2012 edition of the Days of '47 Parade will be filled with entries that the thousands who line the route have come to expect bands and flags and horses and handcarts and floats and the Mormon Battalion, which has marched in most every parade for the past 163 years.
This year's edition also includes a few new entries, including a float with dancers from the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii; a band and a 50-foot-long dragon from the Chinese Society of Utah; and opera singers.
That's right opera singers. "It's sort of crazy, isn't it?" said Ariel Bybee, a faculty member at the University of Utah's School of Music and chair of Friends of Opera, which is sponsoring the entry.
Mezzo-soprano Demaree Brown and baritone Daniel Tuutau doctoral students at the U.'s School of Music will ride in a carriage, singing arias from Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen." "The biggest problem we had was finding a way to have them sing and have accompaniment," Bybee said.
The restored 19th-century carriage (from Horman's antique carriage collection) has been outfitted with a 21st-century, state-of-the-art sound system to do just that.
"The singers will actually sing, using microphones," Bybee said. "No lip-syncing. So keep your fingers crossed that it works. We've never done anything like this before."
Not in the Days of '47 Parade, at least. But Bybee, herself a mezzo-soprano who sang in more than 450 performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera, is parade-trained.
"I have to tell you, I sang in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade one year," she said. "The Met had a float sponsored by Ocean Spray, and another girl and I sang 'Hansel and Gretel' all the way down Central Park West. It was a lot of fun. "
Days of '47 Parade
Â» The route begins at South Temple and State Street, runs east to 200 East, turns south to 900 South, then turns east to Liberty Park at 600 East.
Â» Paradegoers are allowed to camp out on the parade route Monday evening, beginning at 6 p.m.
Â» The parade will be televised live on KSL-Channel 5 on Tuesday at 9 a.m.