Utah's Pioneer day is on July 24th. Since Pioneer day falls on a Sunday, the majority of the state celebrate on the Saturday before. The church here in Pine Valley puts on a program, breakfast and games in celebration. I don't remember the program or breakfast as a kid, so its possible that this addition has happened just in my adult years, but the games & races I have at least 10+ years of actual recollected memories of participating as a child.
I overheared the program a bit today, but showed up to late to have breakfast. Moments after I arrived the races began. They have the simple running races which I remember so well as a kid. They involve each individual age group (to make it fair) and they move the finish line farther and farther back as they get to the older ages. They don't designate a winner - we're all winners here in Pine Valley, so each child or adult that participates gets the coveted box of Cracker Jacks. (Or if you just walk up to the person handing them out, you can get a box too...without even participating!!! I learned that quite a few years ago!!) Over the years they have added other races. Some have stuck around year after year, some slowly fade away. I remember the race with the 'egg on a spoon.' I remember walking ever so still and slow to make it all the way down without dropping the egg. Super hard. In years past we had the 3-legged race. Many injuries have come from people topplig over each other. Now they have added the pony races with a mop. You can race alone or they have the round where the little kid AND their Grandpa share the same mop and try to race. It makes for some good laughter. They also have the saltine cracker/whistle race, the long licorice partner race, the hard bubble gum chewing/making a definite bubble race and of course the water balloon toss. (I think they've used eggs before in previous years, but as of the last 5 or so years its strictly been water balloons. Less messy.)
Really just recalling the races now and back then, just brings a smile to my face. So many years of memories. However it also brings a somber mood to this beautiful sunny day. As I sit and watch the families and the little kids participating in races, it starts a little tear in my heart. I'm just hoping I will one day have children of my own to share in the great joys and memories I had in Pine Valley and at the races. One day I will be at the finish line with open arms just waiting to catch my little racer. One day...
But for now I have plenty of nieces and nephews not to mention all my cousins kids that I get to enjoy the festivities with. This morning was great fun and its just another addition to my bank of Pine Valley memories. I got my box of Cracker Jacks!!
Here is my #204 - The races...in action!