In celebration of Pioneer Day, Utah Senator Mike Lee brought Utah to Washington D.C.!
Congressional leaders tasted a sliver of Beehive State on Thursday during the 3rd annual “Flavors of Utah” event. The food tour is a tradition in the US Senate. Many states bring local delights to Capitol Hill to “highlight and celebrate their states unique history, culture, and commerce,” according to the Facebook event.
Pioneer Day is definitely unique to Utah, representative of our history, and a chunk of our culture. No other state celebrates July 24th better than Utah. So, of course, local favorites made their way to the nation’s capital to share a slice of independence pie. Literally.
Where it all began
In a Deseret News article, Dave Davis, president of the Utah Food Industry Association, said the idea was Mike Lee’s “brainchild.”
“It started many, many years ago with (Lee), a couple of interns and a bucket of homemade root beer,” Davis said.
Davis added Lee wanted to share Pioneer Day with his colleagues in Washington, so he invited them to celebrate with a glass of intern-brewed root beer.
“Now it’s developed into this great celebration. I like to call it the biggest Pioneer Day celebration east of the Mississippi,” Davis said.
A semi-tractor trailer traveled 30 hours to D.C. to deliver the Utah goodies. Attendees were able to sample products from 24 different companies based in the Beehive State.
The Deseret News spoke with local owners who were featured in the event. Co-owner of Pepperlane Jellies, Sandra Weese was ecstatic to have the opportunity to share her snacks.
“It’s really nice to be recognized for the work that we do and the passion that we have to create our products that people really enjoy,” said Weese.
Grant Kohler, the owner of Heber Valley Cheese, said he enjoys the ability to “showcase Utah and what we do.”
“It surprises people how big Utah is in artisan, really high-quality products,” Kohler said.
Here’s who make the trek up the hill
Rocky Mountain Pies
Heber Valley Cheese
Creminelli Fine Meats
Chef Shamy Butter
Aggie Ice Cream
Sweet Candy Company
State Office of Tourism