Hot Dogs & Pioneers

Summers in Utah are wonderful. Days full of swimming and biking and hiking, and cool nights perfect for long walks or sitting on porches. If it ever gets too hot, we can escape into the mountains or the powerful air conditioning of the UMFA. Summer here means the smell of fresh cut grass and chlorine, the rich smell of dirt and creosote in the mountain air. It also means BBQs, fireworks, family, and friends.

And we are lucky enough to have two holidays–back to back!–that celebrate all these things!

"Hot Dog Bridge." Russell Talbert Gordon. 1974

“Hot Dog Bridge.” Russell Talbert Gordon. 1974

Today, July 23rd, is National Hot Dog Day.

No, really.

It is billed as a day to “celebrate one of America’s favorite summer sandwiches” which has a starring role in so many BBQs. In addition to firing up the grill, perhaps you can celebrate by sending a congratulations card to Joey Chestnut, who recently broke the record by eating 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes (for those keeping track: that’s almost seven hot dogs a minute!)

Study for "Utah Capitol [pioneer woman with infant]." Gilber White. Charcoal. 1917.

Study for “Utah Capitol [pioneer woman with infant].” Gilber White. Charcoal. 1917.

Speaking of eating hot dogs to the point of regret, July 24th is Pioneer Day, commemorating the settling of the Salt Lake Valley on July 24 of 1847.

Though it is the perfect day to reflect on the hardships of settling such a merciless desert landscape, it is also the day to celebrate that we didn’t have to do it! And what better way to remind ourselves of this than to eat beyond our rations (hot dogs, anyone?) and to use our firepower to launch some fireworks!

The UMFA will be open for National Hot Dog Day, but closed for Pioneer Day.

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