Arts & Culture
Making miniature float is privilege, way to build community
Lara M. Bangerter | Lehi Historical Society and Archives
Let’s be honest. Lehi has some traditions not everyone understands or appreciates. Unfortunately, the Lehi Miniature Float Parade, which happens during Lehi Round-Up Week, is one of them.
However, once one learns the history of this most delightful event, surely more will be willing to support this labor of love.
When Lehi’s earliest settlers came to Lehi, Brigham Young, president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told the people to “fort up.” Cooped up in a fort of four-square blocks, the people began to get on each other’s nerves and pick on one another.
LDS Bishop David Evans was inspired to direct the people to put on a parade. His motive—to build community by putting the people to work in a common project.
Not surprisingly, the scheme worked. The people came togetheron July 24, 1854, to put on the city’s first parade, and in doing so, put aside their petty arguments. Every year since, Lehi LDS wards and congregations have worked hard to create masterpieces for their parades. Ask any person over 30, who grew up in Lehi, if they have helped with a float, and you will get a resounding, “Yes!”
To this day, many of Lehi’s misunderstood traditions date back to Evans’ early thinking—have the people bond by servingtogether and getting to know one another.
It’s about now that many in our community are being asked by their church leaders to make floats for Lehi’s Miniature Float Parade. Fight the urge to say, “No.” It’s an opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills and carry on a tradition that is unique to Lehi and that has helped make it strong for 169 years.
The call to work on a float has traditionally come through church assignments as that has always been the easiest way to rally the people of Lehi. Today, families and any non-profit or other organization is also invited to create a float. The city provides the base and the budget, which is earned at the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo concessions, which is also run by volunteers.
For anyone who attends the parade, it’s easy to see the float committee is having a hard time getting people to participate.The once flourishing parade seems to be getting smaller by the year. Please help save the parade! Be a part of this greatcommunity-building tradition!
Anna Standage, a member of the Miniature Float Committee,said, “To me, Round-Up feels like a grounding city event. It’s important for people to understand that with all of the changes and growth here, there is room for everyone.
“We invite you to come and see what Lehi was and is and to participate in perpetuating this most important tradition,” she continued. “To erase all of old Lehi would be a shame. The Lehi Miniature Float Parade keeps us grounded to where we started.”
If you are interested in helping with or creating a float, you can contact Standage at 801-380-5956 or the parade committee at www.lehi-ut.gov/miniature/parade/information. To learn more about the history of the Lehi Miniature Float Parade, visit the Lehi Historical Society and Archives at lehihistory.com or 99 W. Main St. Ste 100, Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m.