Taylorsville Dayzz 2021 is a full go, likely without masksMar 29, 2021 12:14PM ● By Carl Fauver
After a one-year hiatus, the Taylorsville Dayzz parade will be back Saturday morning, June 26. (Photo courtesy Taylorsville City)
By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
That glimmer of light, at the end of our yearlong coronavirus tunnel, is now as bright as the annual Taylorsville Dayzz fireworks displays, which are now, officially, less than three months away. Not only is the annual city celebration back after its 2020 COVID-19 hiatus, but there may also not be a mask in sight.
“After checking with the county and state health departments, we have been authorized to hold Taylorsville Dayzz this year,” 21-year event committee chairman Jim Dunnigan said. “And, if the numbers continue to trend as they are now—with fewer positive COVID tests and coronavirus hospitalizations—we will be allowed to host it without requiring masks or social distancing. But either way, it’s officially a go.”
Dunnigan shared that good news with several members of his Taylorsville Dayzz Committee, during a mid-March Zoom meeting. Taylorsville City Councilwoman Meredith Harker was among the 18 volunteers on the call.
“We are all so excited, because it’s time to join back together as a community,” Harker said. “We just need this. And what a great way to celebrate 25 years.”
Taylorsville was incorporated in the summer of 1996, 100 years after Utah became a state, and 25 years ago. City officials have declared 2021 the “Taylorsville 25th Birthday Bash” year.
Taylorsville Dayzz volunteers are now scrambling to pull everything together. Normally, the organizing committee may take a month or two off, after the previous festival, but they basically have an entire year to work through details. This year they have barely three months. Still, they promise none of the familiar favorites will be missing.
Taylorsville Dayzz will run Thursday through Saturday, June 24–26. If you have seen it in previous festivals, you will see it again: three nights of “headliner” entertainment, two nights of fireworks, food and craft booths, a car show, parade, 5K fun run, children’s petting zoo, carnival rides and dozens of local performing acts, on two stages.
The Utah Symphony will headline Thursday night, performing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with its traditional cannon fire finale. Neil Diamond tribute artist Jay White is expected to return to the Taylorsville Dayzz main stage Saturday night, although last-minute scheduling issues were still being resolved at press time. The Friday night show remains up in the air, with Beach Boys, Beatles and Bee Gees tribute bands all under consideration.
“There is such a pent-up demand for Taylorsville Dayzz this year, I think ‘reconnection’ is our unofficial theme,” Dunnigan said. “People want to come out of their basements, enjoy our weather and see that the world is still alive and moving forward. It takes about 2,000 volunteer hours to pull Taylorsville Dayzz off. Our committee members are excited to do it again, but we will need some help and can always use more volunteers.
If you want to assist as a volunteer, purchase a sponsorship, nominate your performing group for stage time or have any other inquiries, visit www.taylorsvilledayzz.com or call 801-840-1800.
Taylorsville officials budget $60,000 per year for the annual celebration. But Dunnigan says that is just a part of what it costs.
“City funds are reserved strictly for infrastructure costs—things like security and port-a-potty rentals,” he said. “For example, tax dollars are not spent on carnival rides, fireworks displays or headliner concerts. That’s why our sponsors are so important. And it’s also why we could not do it without so many volunteers.”
Back in the thick of it again this year will be members of the Taylorsville Arts Council. After a year in performance mothballs, council members are also excited Taylorsville Dayzz is returning. Council Co-chair Howard Wilson is one of four members of his group that pulls double-duty, also serving as active members of the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee.
“ [Taylorsville Arts Council] members are so excited to see Taylorsville Dayzz coming back,” Wilson said. “It’s a lot of fun and provides some of our members with opportunities to perform. But beyond that, the arts council also receives about $10,000 each year from food and craft booth rentals. It’s critical to us, financially.”
Arts Council volunteer Susan Holman has the task of securing about 40 local performing acts to fill both Taylorsville Dayzz stages. For the next couple of months, she will be lining up those groups, while also continuing to accept entries for this year’s Taylorsville Arts Council virtual art show, celebrating the city’s “Silver Jubilee.”
The Taylorsville Arts Council has also firmed up dates for future performances. The council’s youth performers will present “Peter Pan” at Salt Lake Community College’s Alder Amphitheater Aug. 4–6. Meantime, the council’s first performances in the new Performing Arts Center (newly completed, southeast of city hall) will follow in December and January.
The four-woman stage production “Winter Wonderettes” will be performed Dec. 2–4 in the Performing Arts Center small theater, called Studio 54 (as in 5400 South). The Taylorsville Arts Council’s first-ever performance in the brand new, 440-seat main PAC theater will be “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Jan. 31 through Feb. 5, 2022.
“We are excited to finally have those dates and shows scheduled,” Wilson said. “But, before that, our arts council members are even more thrilled to do all we can to help make this Taylorsville Dayzz return a success.”
It’s a good thing they are, because Dunnigan admits completing all the organizing details in 10 or 11 weeks, rather than 10 or 11 months, will present some challenges. But after coronavirus forced them to take last year off, he believes they are up to the task.
As for the COVID-19 storm clouds apparently clearing just in time for the “Taylorsville 25th Birthday Bash,” Harker is not ruling out divine intervention.
“I think it shows God is smiling down on Taylorsville,” she said. “I feel we are the strongest city in the valley. And I am so glad we will kind of be the first city to get back to normal, with a summer celebration.”
Indeed, while countless communities across Utah and the nation are expected to return to a “new normal” over Fourth of July weekend, Taylorsville Dayzz will unfold more than a week before that—with or without the masks most of us are tired of seeing and wearing.