Utah officials are preparing to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Utah’s statehood with televised musical performances and live fireworks throughout the state.
The anniversary celebration, which will take place Monday, is meant to offer “every Utahn an opportunity to reflect on our shared history and look optimistically to our future,” according to the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, which is hosting the celebration.
“While statehood marks an important moment, it is Utah’s people who have defined this place,” according to an announcement from the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts about the celebration. “Utah’s journey to statehood and beyond shows how many groups contributed to building Utah, and also how they raised their voices to secure political, legal, religious, social, and cultural rights.”
The celebration will begin with a broadcast of “Thrive125: A Utah Celebration,” which will air on Monday at 6:30pm on various Utah affiliates. A repeat will air on PBS Utah at 8:30 p.m.
“The special will celebrate the state’s artistic heritage, cultural diversity and scenic wonders,” the heritage and arts department wrote, noting that it will include “musical and dance numbers from notable Utah performers and celebrity guests.”
At 7:30 p.m., there will be fireworks displays in each of Utah’s 29 counties that will last around 3-4 minutes. In Weber County, the fireworks display will be discharged from the lot adjacent to the 2nd District Court building near 2525 Grant Ave. in downtown Ogden.
In Davis County, the launch site will be the BMX course at the Legacy Events Center, 151 S. 1100 West, in Farmington.
Box Elder County residents can see fireworks at Rees Pioneer Park, 800 W. Forest St., in Brigham City, and those in Morgan County can go to Morgan High School, 700 E. Young St.
Accompanying music will be broadcast on a number of radio stations, including Mix 105.1 Utah, 101.5 The Eagle, Kool 98.9 FM, 100.7 BOB FM, 104.1 ZION and 102.3 Coyote Country.
The Utah Department of Heritage and Arts noted “people are encouraged to watch from a distance, in their cars, and their front and back yards.”
“It is important that this celebration is COVID safe,” the department wrote.
Utah had applied for statehood before, but it wasn’t until The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published the 1890 Manifesto banning polygamy that the gateway was opened for Utah to become a state. It took 16 years after the manifesto for Congress to approve the action.
It had already received notoriety with things like the coming together of the transcontinental railway service at Promontory Point in 1869.
Utah was admitted to the United States on Jan. 4, 1896, and that year, the state sent its first two senators and one representative to Congress, all members of the Republican Party.
The state’s first two senators, Frank Cannon and Arthur Brown, took office on Jan. 22, 1896. Utah’s longest-serving senators include Reed Smoot, who served from 1903 to 1933 and Orrin Hatch, who served from 1977 to 2019, according to the Utah State Senate.
More information about the 125th anniversary of statehood celebration is available at https://thrive125.utah.gov/january4th-event.
Genelle Pugmire contributed to this story.