Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Celebration to be 'spectacular'

Published: Saturday, Jan. 11, 1997

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People worldwide, inside and outside of the Church, are observing the Pioneer Sesquicentennial this year. The main event in Utah will be a Sesquicentennial Spectacular July 24-25, with a cast of 4,000 at BYU Cougar Stadium in Provo. Other activities are planned during the spring and summer; some are prototype events which Latter-day Saints in other parts of the Church are encouraged to adapt in their home communities. (See "Pioneer Sesquicentennial Celebration Drama and Musical Presentations," available to Church units at the Salt Lake Distribution Center.)

For those planning to make the central Church celebrations part of their sesquicentennial observance, a summary of key events is on this page and page 10.

Sesquicentennial Spectacular

Date: July 24-25

Location: Cougar Stadium, BYU

Time: Stadium opens at 6:30 p.m. for pre-show; program begins at 8:30 p.m.

Admission: Tickets will be $2, $3 and $5; tickets will be available toward the end of March.

Features: Cast of 4,000 will include the Tabernacle Choir; Mormon Youth Chorus and Symphony; Utah Valley Children's Choir and Family Choir, with 1,700 voices; civic ethnic organizations; alumni from BYU Folk Dancers, Living Legends and Young Ambassadors. Musical and production numbers created by such composers, arrangers and producers as Merrill Jenson, Crawford Gates, Mack Wilberg, Steven Kapp Perry, Arlen L. Card, Kurt Bestor, Randy Boothe, Ron Simpson, Janielle Christensen and K. Newell Dayley.

Highlights: Children's choir with garlands of brightly colored flowers will line pathway to welcome First Presidency and their wives. Dancing waters will be visible on four sides of stadium. Balloons, daytime fireworks and flags of nations will be displayed. Train of covered wagons will stream into the stadium.

Pioneer Rendezvous

Date: July 24-25

Location: BYU campus - Harmon Conference Center, Deseret Towers Field.

Time: 2-7 p.m.

Admission: free

Features: Simulated pioneer experience in a fair-like atmosphere, including mini-pioneer trek with loading and pulling of handcarts; pioneer settlement; frontier town; Indian village; entertainment under canopy with square dancing and singers; chuck wagon with pioneer food for sale; computers available in the conference center for searching pioneer genealogy; visual displays of children's pioneer art, pioneer settlements and industry.

Highlights: As individuals or families arrive, they will be placed in companies, each given the identity of an actual pioneer, and will experience loading and pulling handcarts along a trail through which scenes are played out, representing historical events. At pioneer settlement, demonstrations will include butter churning, weaving, wool carding and spinning, treadle-machine sewing. Participants will have hands-on experience with candle dipping, rag-doll making, quilting, face painting, pottery making and other pioneer crafts.

`Barefoot to Zion' musical

Date: Opening June 19 and continuing through summer season.

Location: To be announced.

Time: To be announced.

Admission: Tickets available spring 1997, prices to be announced later.

Features: The musical is appropriate for use locally during the sesquicentennial and in subsequent years. Scripts, scores and other supporting materials will be be made available after June through the Salt Lake Distribution Center.

Highlights: Based on true accounts taken from pioneer journals, the musical follows the adventures of a young pioneer boy as he walks to the Salt Lake Valley.

Sesquicentennial Concert

Date: May 3.

Location: Salt Lake Tabernacle, part of the Temple Square Concert Series

Time: To be announced

Admission: free

Features: This is an example of a concert that can be presented by stakes or wards worldwide; suggested outline and sheet music available at Salt Lake Distribution Center.

Highlights: "Faith in Every Footstep," a hymn composed for the sesquicentennial by K. Newell Dayley.

`End of trek' celebration

Date: July 22.

Location: This Is the Place State Park, Emigration Canyon.

Time: To be announced.

Admission: free

Features: A commemorative wagon train will trek from Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Winter Quarters, Neb., beginning April 21. It is scheduled to arrive July 22. The wagon train is not Church-sponsored, but the Church will host a welcome celebration near This Is the Place Monument.

Highlights: performance by Mormon Youth Chorus and Symphony.

Choir tour of Utah cities

Commencing with a concert April 18 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the Tabernacle Choir will present sesquicentennial concerts in various Utah locations. Subsequent dates and locations are:

May 2 - Southern Utah University Spectrum, Cedar City.

May 3 - Burns Arena, Dixie Center, Dixie College, St. George.

May 16 - Snow College, Ephraim.

May 23 - Dee Smith Spectrum, Utah State University, Logan.

June 13 - Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center, College of Eastern Utah, Price.

June 20 - Uintah High School, Vernal.

June 29 - Marriott Center, BYU, Provo.

July 12 - Dee Events Center, Weber State University, Ogden.

Ensign Peak Garden dedication

Date: July 26

Location: City park near foot of Ensign Peak, 147 Ensign Vista Dr., Salt Lake City.

Time: To be announced

Admission: free

Features: Last year, a city park plaza and improved trail to the top of Ensign Peak were completed by a citizens group and presented to Salt Lake City. This year, a memorial garden is being constructed on Church property near the park. The garden will give the LDS historical and doctrinal significance of Ensign Peak and tell the story of the Pioneers who settled Salt Lake Valley and built the temple.

Additional sesquicentennial events

In addition to the Pioneer Sesquicentennial activities highlighted on this page and page 6, here is a schedule of other activities pertaining to the sesquicentennial. The schedule is not comprehensive, but is published to aid those who are planning for celebrations this year.

Jan. 17 through entire year - Mormon Pioneer Trail exhibit, Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City.

Jan. 18-Oct. 12 - "Pioneering: Past, Present and Future," International children's art exhibit, Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City.

Feb. 2 - Church Educational System satellite broadcast based on a pioneer theme.

March 29 - General Young Women Meeting satellite broadcast based on sesquicentennial theme, "Faith in Every Footstep."

April 16 - Dedication of Mormon Trail Center, Historic Winter Quarters, Omaha, Neb.

May 4 - Church Educational System Young Adult Satellite Fireside with emphasis on sesquicentennial, from Washington, D.C.

May 18 - Aaronic Priesthood Sesquicentennial Celebration satellite broadcast, based on sesquicentennial theme, "Faith in Every Footstep."

May 25-February 1998 - "The Image of the West in Contemporary LDS Art" exhibit, Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City.

July (dates to be determined) - Exhibit on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the history of the Mormon Pioneer Trail, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

July 19 - Pioneer Heritage Service Day, a global observance during which Latter-day Saints contribute community service wherever they reside.

July 24 - Days of '47 Sunrise Service, Salt Lake Tabernacle, Temple Square.