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The City Journals

Draper Days Parade Chair Stepping Down After Four Years

Sep 29, 2016 02:17PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Councilmember Michele Weeks, Councilmember William Rappleye, Draper Days Parade Chair Debbie Ballard, Mayor Troy Walker, Councilmember Marsha Vawdrey, Councilmember Alan Summerhays and Councilmember Jeff Stenquist stand together to honor Ballard for her service as Draper Days parade chair. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

The Draper City Council honored Debbie Ballard for her four years of service as the Draper Days parade chair after Ballard announced she was stepping down from the role. Ballard, who was honored during the Sept. 6 city council meeting, said she is going to be a grandma in October and she wanted to devote her time to that. 

“I’m not going to have many of them so I’m going to enjoy being a grandma,” Ballard said. “This has been an honor. It has been fabulous to work with all of you.”

Mayor Troy Walker praised Ballard for her hard work and dedication in her role as parade chair from 2012 to 2016. 

“One thing you have to know about the Draper parade is without fail every year about four hours before the parade is about to happen, Debbie gets at least 50 different people who want to join the parade. It’s not a job that is really easy,” Walker said. “She has to tell a lot of people no and most of the time she accommodates people and she’s done a fantastic job.”

Walker described the job of parade chair as one that comes with a lot of headaches and said Ballard has handled the position with grace over the years. 

“She’s worked hard [to] invite great bands and a lot more floats to participate in the parade. She has brought in a sound system to broadcast announcements over loud speakers,” Walker said. “The Draper Days Parade is so popular, we have to shut down applications once we reach 100 entries and people set up their chairs along the parade route weeks in advance.”

Walker told Ballard since she lives on the parade route, next year he and the council expect to see her in her front yard enjoying the parade. 

“We’ll look for you and see if we can’t land some candy your way,” Walker said.

Ballard thanked the council and other members of the city, specifically the police department. 

“They have made my job so easy. I know that I can call them and they are there for me whenever I need them,” Ballard said. “They are spectacular. Thank you for your support and kindness.”

She also thanked everyone for having patience with her while she learned the job as she went along and expressed hope in coming back one day. 

“It’s a decision that has been very hard for me but I’m doing what I need to do next, which is be a grandma. I will be watching the parade next year and feeling bad I’m not a part of it,” Ballard said. “It’s hard for me to give up something that I’ve worked so hard to value and enjoy. Good luck to all of you and thank you for the opportunity.”