Politicians, pretty girls and paradegoers all braved sweltering heat to celebrate Saturday morning as part of the city's WestFest International celebration.
More than 112 parade entries streamed down 3500 South from the Valley Fair Mall to Granger Park while thousands watched. Included in the procession were horses, floats and cloggers followed by a super street vacuum truck. A local church entered a band playing Christian rock music.More than a dozen politicians showed up, all with an eye to attracting attention before upcoming elections. Some were dressed in their Sunday best, while others took a much more casual approach.
Salt Lake County Commissioners Jim Bradley and Randy Horiuchi, both who are running for re-election, ran afoul of parade officials and police for throwing candy from the street into the crowd. Apparently, the county's top lawmakers didn't know West Valley City had passed an ordinance that allows candy to be only passed out, not thrown.
"We've told them that they can't do that. We just need to let the police handle it," said parade organizer Jill Ellis into a radio linked with volunteers along the route after the reports about Bradley's and Horiuchi's activities came in.
Around Ellis in a parade staging area in the mall parking lot, parade participants scrambled for what little shade there was as they waited for their turn in the parade. The valley's reigning beauty queens primped before climbing aboard their moving thrones while bagpipes blared and a trombonist warmed up.
Ellis was pleased with the crowd at the parade, which was part of the third day of the annual celebration.
"We had good advertisement. I wish it was a little cooler," she said.
West Valley's float, depicting the world's endangered animal species, won top honors, with Murray's float saying "Utah Welcomes the World" coming in second and a float depicting Japan, entered by Utah Power and West One Bank, took third.
Small-float awards went to Crown Burger's float and another entered jointly by Salt Lake Community College and First Security Bank. Other awards were given to the Castle View School's Razzmatazz dance group, to Pioneer Valley Hospital and Bank One for a float representing Africa, Midvale City's float, the Utah Pipe Band, Uinta High School Band, Charles E. Edwards' float depicting the Flintstones and Frontier Pies' Conestoga wagon.