Make Tracks To The Biggest Bash This Year In Cedar City
The biggest party to happen this year in Cedar City is set to go this month, and it's a celebration not to be missed! It's the Cedar City Railroad Centennial and the city is telling residents and visitors alike, “All Aboard!”
The bulk of the celebration is set to happen from June 19th through June 24th, although some exhibitions will continue through summer and in to fall. The wide variety of activities is sure to appeal to just about everyone.
Among the activities scheduled you can participate in are a scavenger hunt, a sing away social, a neighborhood slow roll, an outdoor dance and more. You can even take a Centennial Train Ride. Most activities are free and open to the public. You can see a full list of the activities at cedarcity.org/ccrr.
The Union Pacific Railroad played a significant role in the development and history of Cedar City. The railroad's arrival in the area spurred economic growth, population expansion, and improved transportation links for the region.
In 1920, it was announced that a spur line from Lund to Cedar City was going to be built. The Union Pacific Railroad built the Cedar City Railroad Depot in 1923. The new rail line served the Zion National Park region and catered to the burgeoning tourism trade along with the iron ore and livestock industries in the area. As a result of the rapid growth of the tourism industry, the Union Pacific constructed lodges at Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Zion, Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Parks. They also helped to purchase hotels and buses to provide lodging and to transport park visitors from Cedar City’s depot to the dramatic natural wonders of southern Utah.
The Union Pacific Railroad was originally part of the First Transcontinental Railroad, which connected the eastern and western coasts of the United States. Construction of the line began in 1863 and was completed in 1869 when the Central Pacific Railroad, coming from the west, and the Union Pacific Railroad, coming from the east, met at Promontory Summit in Utah.
Although Cedar City was not directly on the main transcontinental route, the Union Pacific Railroad expanded its network to include branches that extended into various regions. In the case of Cedar City, the railroad established a branch line called the Utah Southern Railroad.
The Utah Southern Railroad, later acquired by the Union Pacific, reached Cedar City in 1923. The inaugural train on the new rails carried President and Mrs. Warren G. Harding who arrived by train in Cedar City on June 27, 1923. They along with their guests and dozens of others came specifically to explore Zion National Park. A re-enactment of President Harding's speech is planned as a part of the activities.
The arrival of the railroad brought a host of benefits to the community. It provided a reliable means of transportation for goods and people, allowing for the growth of industries such as mining, agriculture, and manufacturing. The railroad facilitated the shipment of goods to and from Cedar City, opening up new markets and expanding economic opportunities for the region.
The railroad also had a significant impact on the population of Cedar City. With improved transportation access, the city became more attractive to settlers and entrepreneurs. The railroad facilitated the movement of people, allowing for increased migration to Cedar City and the surrounding areas. This influx of new residents contributed to the city's growth and development.
Over time, the Union Pacific Railroad continued to play a vital role in Cedar City's transportation infrastructure. It provided passenger and freight services, connecting the city to other parts of Utah and the broader railroad network. The railroad remained an essential mode of transportation until the decline of rail travel in the mid-20th century.
While Cedar City's prominence as a railroad hub diminished in subsequent years, the Union Pacific Railroad's historical significance in the area is still recognized today. The Cedar City Union Pacific Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
The Cedar City Railroad Centennial Committee wants to make sure that everyone feels welcome to the week long celebration to commemorate this epic event in the history of Cedar City.