The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cape Coral will hold a Pioneer Day Celebration and Chili Cook-Off today and they are inviting the community to attend.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church at 1928 Chiquita Blvd. S.
"Children will build handcart models and play pioneer games in an outdoor celebration followed by a chili cook-off," said Director of Public Affairs for the Fort Myers area and Cape Coral resident Guynell Krzak. "We'll also have horses and hayrides, weather permitting. Everyone is invited to join in the festivities followed by lunch, no charge.
"The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take time in July each year to commemorate their pioneer heritage through festivities which are open to the public," she added.
She talked about her church history. "More than 160 years ago, several hundred Mormons began a migration of over a thousand miles to reach the valley of the Great Salt Lake. The first company of pioneers was led by Church President Brigham Young.
There were hardships along the way, violent weather, trails forged through hostile terrain, personal sacrifice and many deaths.
If You Go:
The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints
Pioneer Day Celebration
Saturday, July 21
9 a.m. followed by a chili cook-off at noon with free lunch
1928 Chiquita Blvd. S
Open to the public
Pioneer games and activities
"The 19th-century Mormon migration beginning in 1846 in Illinois, then through Iowa and Nebraska and eventually to a place of refuge in the Rocky Mountains, was one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of the United States' great western migration."
The church is under the direction of the local area president Robert Pritt. "He's responsible for the entire church from Bonita Springs to Cape Coral to Immokalee."
Celebrations to commemorate the July arrival of the 1847 pioneers and other pioneers take place in Utah as well as among smaller gatherings of Latter-day Saints throughout the world. Pioneer activities include parades, reenactments of the trek, dressing up in period clothing and remembering pioneer ancestors.
The members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now number over 14 million.
She said the Cape Coral congregation is nearly 500. "What I like about my church is the gospel teachings, the family orientation and the service that we give to our community."
For information, call 677-8833.