Days of ‘47 Rodeo History
Rodeo has been a tradition in celebrating Utah's heritage for 160 years. The pioneers arrived in the valley in 1847, and in July, 1849 they held their first celebration with a parade and a rodeo.
In the early days rodeo was a community event, organized by people who wanted to be part of the celebration - much like it still is today. The event was called ”Covered Wagon Days”. The Sons and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers eventually took over the organization and planning of the celebration, giving the parade and rodeo uniformity. In 1943 the decision was made to rename the event ”Days of ‘47” and to incorporate that same year.
The Days of ‘47 Rodeo was held at the Utah State Fairpark from 1943 until 1970. In 1970 it moved to the Salt Palace for 20 years and then to the Delta Center. In 2009 the Days of ‘47 Rodeo relocated to the Maverik Center in West Valley City.
The name most associated to the Days of ‘47 Rodeo is Flip Harmon. Flip was asked to help build some chutes and gates in 1961 for the Utah State Fairpark for the rodeo. He helped on the rodeo committee again in 1962 and in 1963 was asked to be chairman of the rodeo, which he accepted. In 1976 he became president of the Days of ‘47 board of directors, still keeping his role as chairman of the rodeo. His love for rodeo and his commitment to the Days of ‘47 spanned 36 years. Flip continued as chairman until his death in 1997, but wife Lois Harmon continues to serve on the rodeo commite and board of Day of 47 Rodeo. For 2012 Craig Peterson has taken over as chiarman.
The Days of ‘47 Rodeo has consistently been rated one of the nation's top PRCA rodeos. World Champion cowboys and cowgirls compete for over $200,000 in prize money as they make their way to the National Finals Rodeo. The Days of ‘47 Rodeo is a destination rodeo for these champions.