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The City Journals

An Inside Look at the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee

Jun 15, 2016 10:26AM ● By Tori La Rue

By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

The 25 members of the Taylorsville Dayzz Committeee spend hundreds of hours planning the city’s annual three-day celebration that brings in thousands of participants from Taylorsville and surrounding communities. Through hundreds of volunteer hours and ten meetings, they collaborate to bring live entertainment, fireworks, movies in the park, races, a petting zoo, a car show, carnival rides, vendors and more to their community. Here’s a peak at who they really are and why they chose to do what they do. 

Jim Dunnigan – Chair 

Jim Dunnigan expected his position as Chair of Talorsville Dayzz to last two years while he was serving on the city council, but those two years have turned into 16.

Dunnigan now represents Taylorsville as the majority leader in the Utah House of Representatives. Although he still chooses to volunteer for Taylorsville Dayzz by securing the entertainment, carnival, fireworks, skydivers, movies in the park, and zoo. He also makes sure the celebration has sound, lighting, portable potties, and garbage cans. He, his wife Vicki, and the committee share ideas and discuss the celebration nearly all year long, he said.

“As I see our children, who came to Taylorsville Dayzz as youngsters, now coming to the festival with children of their own, it motivates me to organize and continue to put on the very best Taylorsville Dayzz we can,” Dunnigan said. 

Steve Ashby – Vice Chair 

Steve Ashby’s known for being a part of the Taylorsville Arts council for more than 12 years and helping to plan and execute the installation of the city’s veterans memorial, but he’s also been involved with the Taylorsville Days Committee for 11 years. 

He said his wife, Jean, worked part time for the city when Taylorsville needed more volunteers for their summer festival. The two of them ended up coordinating parking until Steve was invited to be in charge of daytime entertainment. He accepted the invitation and now serves as Vice Chair. 

Nancy Henderson – Volunteer Coordinator

Nancy Henderson’s official title is volunteer coordinator, but she’s also unofficially the Taylorsville Dayzz Recruiter. 

Richard Flink, who’s in charge of logistics; Rex Burnett, who helps with logistics and is in charge of parking; and Carol Crockett, another volunteer coordinator, said Henderson was the reason they initially joined the committee. 

Nine years ago, Henderson accepted an assignment to serve as a liaison between her church congregation and Taylorsville Dayzz, but after the volunteer coordinator resigned, Henderson stepped into the coordinator position where she has served ever since that time. 

Carol Crockett – Volunteer Coordinator 

While at an Elementary School Event seven years ago, Carol Crockett told Nancy Henderson that she thought that the Taylorsville Dayzz committee sounded like fun. 

“She remembered my comment and invited me to a meeting,” Crockett said. “I’ve been involved since that first meeting. It is a lot of work, but I love the people on the committee, and I have a lot of fun helping.” 

Richard Flink – Logistics 

Richard Flink said he loves to support the community by being part of the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee. 

“He is always willing to do more than asked and loves supporting the community,”Tiffany Janzen, Taylorsville spokesperson and member of Taylorsville Dayzz Committee, said. “If there is an additional task or request, he is the first to offer his help or assistance.

Rex Burnett – Logistics and Parking 

The orange cones that designate where Taylorsville residents may and may not park during the Taylorsville Dayzz festivities do not place themselves, but they are responsibility of one man – Rex Burnett. 

Although this job could be considered mundane, it’s one that is necessary and deters confusion at the festival, and Burnett serves with pride, Taylorsville spokeswoman Tiffany Janzen said. 

Burnett’s been placing the cones for approximately nine years, and he’s well known for bringing homemade chocolates to each committee meeting, taking the time to remember each memeber’s favorite kind, Janzen said. 

Debbie Barton – Orchestra Liaison and Parade Co-chair 

Debbie Barton said she has, at one time or another, been in the Taylorsville Symphony Orchestra with each of her five children. It’s been one of their family’s favorite pastimes. 

Twelve years ago, the conductor asked her to be the Orchestra Liaison, and she said she was ready and willing to help. Later, when the committee needed another person to aid in setting up the parade, Barton volunteered for that job and now serves in both positions. 

Susan Holman – Entertainment Coordinator 

Susan Holman’s the committee member who rounds up Taylorsville’s talent for the festival’s stages. 

“I love getting to know the performers,” she said. “There are so many talented people in our city who are willing to share their talents.”

Thirteen years ago one of Holman’s friend on the arts council said she needed help finding local entertainers. Holman said she saw how much fun the community was having watching the performances, so she joined the committee and has been a part of Taylorsville Dayzz ever since. 

Elaine Waegner –Secretary  (not pictured above)

Elaine Waegner’s lived in Taylorsville for 36 years, been on the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee for 18 years and worked for the city for 16 years. 

She started working on the committee as a city assignment, but even after retiring she continued her service because she said she was so appreciative of the hours the volunteers had spent helping her while she was working for the city. 

Gordon Wolf – Treasurer and Vendor Booth Sales 

Gordon Wolf, treasurer for the Taylorsville Arts Council, is used to dealing with money. He’s an accountant who worked as a corporate controller for two companies before starting his own practice. The sale of vendor booths during Taylorsville Dayzz is a fundraiser for the arts council, so it’s something that has become Wolf’s responsibility.

Besides being a member of the Taylorsville Days Committee and art council, he’s also on the Taylorsville Budget Committee, Salt Lake County Board of Directors for Zoo Arts and Parks and the Board of Directors for the Salt Lake County Cultural Facilities Support Program. 

“Being a member to these committees seems like a good way to give back for the lifestyle I enjoy and the community services available to me,” Wolf said. 

John Gidney – Vendor Booths 

John Gidney’s participation in the Taylorsville Budget Committee led him into the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee because the city asked the budget committee to sell tickets for the festival. 

Three years later, Mayor Janice Auger invited him to serve on the arts council, so he got involved with the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee working with the vendor booths, like Gordon Wolf. 

Gidney said he likes to spend time with his wife and 9 grandchildren when he’s not at committee meetings. 

Kent Geis – Car Show Coordinator 

Kent Geis, who loves restoring old cars, said he brings his love of the auto world to the city by coordinating the sponsors and participants of the Car Show in Taylorsville Dayzz. 

He’s been in charge of this event for 10 years. 

Bob Westbrook – In Charge of Lion’s Club Breakfast

Bob Westbrook has been a part of Taylorsville Dayzz Committee for as long as Taylorsville’s been an incorporated city – 20 years, making him the longest-standing member of the committee. 

The city asked for a member of the Bennion Lions Club to be part of the start-up committee for the new city, and Westbrook volunteered. He was then asked to be the Lions club representative on the Taylorsville Dayzz committee. 

Fun Fact: The Bennion Lions Club paid for the first float ever of the Taylorsville Dayzz Parade. 

John Purvis – Committee Member

The newest member of the committee said he joined for selfish reasons. He said he wanted to find out how a large event like Taylorsville Dayzz was put on, and he said he enjoys the cookies Mayor Larry Johnson brings to the meetings. 

Purvis has lived in Utah since 1983 and in Taylorsville since 1988, where he now resides with his wife Linda and dog Bugsy. 

Kirstin Johnson – 5K Specialist 

It’s Kristin Johnson second year as the 5K specialist. 

Johnson likes to run and says that it is “cheap therapy.” She joined the committee after Mayor Larry Johnson asked her to volunteer. 

“I liked it so much that I came back,” she said. 

She and her husband are Taylorsville Natives and are now raising their four kids within the city’s bounds. 

Jay Ziolkowski – Fire Department Representative 

Jay Ziolkowski’s worked for Unified Fire Authority for 23 years. His first assignment was in Taylorsville, where he has served a number of times in different capacities. 

Although his presence on the committee came by way of assignment, Ziolkowski said he has enjoyed being on the committee for the past 11 years. 

Lt. Saul Bailey – Police Representative

The other public safety official on the committee is Lt. Saul Bailey, Unified Police Department’s executive officer for the Taylorsville precinct. 

Bailey is from Washington, D.C., but he moved to Utah in 1989 and got involved in law enforcement in 1995. He’s worked in the Salt Lake County Sherriff’s Office before switching to UPD, where he got involved with Taylorsville Dayzz. 

Other Members of the Committee: 

Ben Gustafson, Tiffany Janzen, Mayor Larry Johnson, Kory Holdaway, Duane Phillips, Jerod Willingham, Scott Beckwith and Dave Nicoll.

The efforts put forth by these volunteers will come to fruition in the 2016 Taylorsville Dayzz from June 23 to 25 at the Valley Regional Park (5100 2700 W). For a full list of events and times, visit 

Contributing: Tiffany Janzen