This past weekend was the annual Pioneer Day Celebration in Monticello. The weekend was packed with events starting with a Softball Tournament and Talent Show on Friday night, and a Family 5K, Lions Club Breakfast, Parade, Tractor Pull, Games & Food Booths at the park, and Fireworks on Saturday.
There was a lot going on, and I didn’t make it to nearly enough of the events, but I’ll post pictures from the ones I went to…
I have to say, the San Juan County Fair float definitely won the contest for the float that threw the most candy- the kids (and some adults too!) around us were going CRAZY when it passed by!
This float completely drenched all the kids who were still picking up candy from the San Juan County Fair float. Luckily, it seemed like the kids on the float were more interested in spraying other kids rather than trying to get everyone who was back on the sidewalk!
Finally the Big 4 made its way down the street leading the tractors that bring up the end of the parade. Monticello’s Big 4 tractor is one of very few still in existence today. It was built and brought to Monticello in 1912 and although it has changed hands several times, it has remained in the Monticello area for almost 100 years. If you would like to read more about the history or specs of the Big 4, please click HERE.
We had been watching the parade from in front of the Veteran’s Memorial Park, which is where the food booths and music were set up and where the tug-o-war and other games were going to take place. I had been checking out the food booths toward the end of the parade, so as soon as the parade was over, I had already decided what I wanted- a smoked turkey leg from the K&A Chuckwagon booth! I live just down the street from K&A Chuckwagon and at least a couple nights a week when I open the windows in the evening, I can smell WONDERFUL BBQ smells coming from up the street! As a food lover (and especially as a BBQ lover!) it’s been very hard to resist, so I was happy to see that they had a booth where I could finally sample something!
The next event of the day was the tractor pull at the Southeast Utah Welcome Center on the south end of town. I had never been to a tractor pull before so I didn’t know much about how they work, but luckily I ran into a couple people right when we got there who gave me a quick run-down…
Each tractor takes a turn pulling a heavy sledge (sled) down the track. Since each tractor weighs a different amount and larger/heavier tractors are usually able to pull more weight, the winning tractor is the one that can pull the greatest percentage of its own weight. The sled that was being used has a device that transfers the weight toward the front (making it heavier) as its pulled down the track. As the weight moves toward the front, the metal plate on the front end of the sled is pushed into the dirt of the track creating more resistance.
As each tractor was taking its turn, the announcer would tell the crowd some information about it, including the year and weight. After the pull was finished the percentage of weight that each tractor pulled was announced. I didn’t stay until the end, so I don’t know who won, but some of the higher numbers that were announced while I was there were in the 130% -150% range.
The final event of the day is the fireworks display at the Monticello Ballpark at about 9:30. I had made it home by that point and really didn’t want to go out again, but luckily I was able to see them from the street in front of my house! It was a great show this year, and a great way to end the weekend full of events! If you didn’t make it this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next year!
Distance from Monticello to lodging in San Juan County, Utah:
- Monticello: 0 miles/0 km
- Blanding: 22 miles/35 km
- La Sal: 40 miles/64 km
- Bluff: 48 miles/77 km
- Mexican Hat: 74 miles/119 km
- Monument Valley: 99 miles/159 km