This is Still the Place: Utah's 1897 Pioneer Jubilee


The Serpent of the Great Salt Lake was actually a Chinese Dragon borrowed from Rock Springs, Wyoming, for the Jubilee Celebration. People in Utah questioned the "fitness of going to great expense to bring the heathen emblem here on such an occasion, since it is so far removed from anything connected with the genius of the pioneer work and the building up of an American civilization here." While the Chinese population of Rock Springs was equally "stirred up" over negotiations with the committee for the dragon (who would be called a serpent) to be in their parade. Eventually, a settlement was reached, and the dragon was entered in the Illuminated Parade, covered with salt crystals which made the beast sparkle under the chromium lights.

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