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Party like it is 1869–150th Golden Spike anniversary celebration



The placing of the Golden Spike was one of the most iconic and life-altering events in America’s history. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad occurred in Northern Utah and this May will mark the 150th anniversary of the event. Many exhibits and activities are planned throughout the state in honor of this historic anniversary. On May 10-12, a big Sesquicentennial Celebration will be held at Promontory Summit, the site where in 1869, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad crews ended their race to connect the east and west.

The 150th birthday party, titled “Spike 150 Celebration Festival” will be held at the Golden Spike National Historic site in Box Elder County, starting May 10 and will continue through May 12. Replica steam train engines, music, performances, storytelling, historical reenactments, train demonstrations, a frontier village, innovation summit, and steam train demonstrations will be featured at the event. 

“These celebratory events honor our shared history and inspire us that great things are possible with vision, hard work, and ingenuity, dedication, and collaboration,” said Doug Foxley, co-chair, Spike 150 Commission. More than 10,000 visitors are expected to attend and there is a $20 fee per vehicle to help offset the cost of the festival.

There are 150 different “Spike 150” celebrations, activities, exhibits and events happening statewide, and many will continue throughout the year. Train reenactments and steam demonstrations run on a daily schedule from May to September at the Golden Spike National Historic Site. There is even an opportunity to ride the Union Pacific’s Heritage fleet cars that will be pulled by the world’s largest steam locomotive. “This two-hour excursion from Ogden, Utah to Evanston, Wyoming, will give about 80 passengers a glimpse of rail travel of the past,” said Foxley. See for more details about the events offered statewide, or to purchase tickets for the Spike 150 Celebration Festival. 

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