Last week mental_floss blog posted about 10 Religious Holidays Not Yet Exploited by Hallmark. Coming in at #4 was Pioneer Day. After a brief history of the Church, it describes the day as follows:
And what better reason to set aside Pioneer Day every July 24 for some fireworks, picnics, Mormon folk music, and, of course, prayers of thanksgiving? Celebrating Brigham Young’s arrival to the city on that fateful day often involves historical reenactments, with Mormons revisiting parts of the trails their ancestors took across the country and replaying their forefathers’ entrance into the Salt Lake Valley. Much of the celebration is focused on community, with contests, concerts, parades, and games organized for the families. It isn’t just a Mormon event, though; non-Mormon residents of Utah also participate in the festivities. In fact, Pioneer Day is widely considered to be bigger than the July 4th holiday in the state.
I’ve never been present at a Pioneer Day celebration and I’ve never seen any of the Church broadcasts, so I can’t comment on it other than to say that although I appreciate the pioneer heritage of the Church, Pioneer Day seems very Utah-specific, and as a worldwide Church, I can’t see it catching on.