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The Face Behind Taylorsville Dayzz: Jim Dunnigan

Jun 05, 2015 08:36AM ● Published by Jessica Thompson

It’s the best weekend in June and you’re sitting with your family listening to the groovy music of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Cher. Your child just finished riding the Ferris wheel and now is chowing down on a big, deep-fried corndog and you are thinking it doesn’t get much better than this. What you might not be thinking about are the hundreds of donated hours committee volunteers have spent since last September preparing for this year’s Taylorsville Dayzz festivities. Or, you might not think about the fact that one man has spent the past 15 years as the volunteer chairman for this highly anticipated event. Jim Dunnigan is that man. 
Jim Dunnigan has been the volunteer chairman of Taylorsville Dayzz for 15 years.

 The first Taylorsville Dayzz was started in 1998 and was only held on a Saturday. The event consisted of only a few events such as a parade, entertainment by local talent, an inflatable carnival and Lions Club breakfast. Dunnigan recalled, “Starting in 2001 we added headliner evening entertainment and fireworks. This also started a tradition of having the Utah Symphony perform a patriotic concert with the Wasatch Mountain Cannoneers.”  Since then a 5k race, car show, skydivers and a petting zoo have been added to the activities. People in the community enjoy the parade and food. Many have said that their most loved part of the event is the 30-minute-long Firework Extravaganza Show. “My favorite part about Taylorsville Dayzz is seeing the people and families enjoy the wide variety of events, activities and food. Personally, I enjoy the evening concerts and the fireworks,” said Dunnigan. 

 Dunnigan first moved to Taylorsville in 1977. With his wife Vicki they raised their family in Taylorsville. They watched their children grow and they all eventually graduated from Taylorsville High School. He is the owner of Dunnigan Insurance in Taylorsville.  Dunnigan was on the first Taylorsville City Council that organized and started Taylorsville Dayzz and has been the events volunteer chairman for 15 years. This community event has always been important to Dunnigan. Tiffany Janzen, public information officer for Taylorsville City, said, “He [Dunnigan]  truly believes it should be a family-friendly event and he goes to great efforts to make sure it’s fun, safe and family friendly.” He has also served on the City Council for six years and for the past 13 years has represented Taylorsville City at the state capitol in the Utah House of Representatives.  Just last fall he was elected by his fellow representatives to serve as the majority leader in the Utah House. 

Because of Dunnigan, Vice-Chair Steve Ashby, and the rest of the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee’s hard work year after year, Taylorsville City has an amazing event that brings families closer together. “We hope to provide a family friendly event that draws our community together and creates memories and traditions for our city. We work hard to have a venue where local talent can perform and showcase their talents to family, friends and the public,” said Dunnigan. This will be Taylorsville Dayzz 19th year of celebration. Janzen said, “So many of the committee members have been involved or on the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee for the same or close to same amount of time. It requires UPD, UFA, the City of Taylorsville, and all of the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee members to work together to make this amazing family-friendly event possible.”

This year’s Taylorsville Dayzz will have many of the same events as last year such as a 5k run, Lions Club breakfast and a parade honoring grand marshals John and Hyrum Smith, who are brothers and have lived in Taylorsville their entire lives. Other events will include a new carnival ride, The Scrambler, and Thursday night’s movie in the park, “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” There will be more than 30 delicious food vendors and more than 60 craft and exhibit vendors. The Utah Symphony and Wasatch Canoneers will also be performing. They will be playing songs such as the “Pops Hoedown”, “An American in Paris” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Dunnigan said, “One of our main objectives is to bring to our community first-class entertainment, including the Utah Symphony, at no cost to the audience.” 

“I think it is important to give back to our community. If we want a desirable place to live, we need to do our part to make it so. The event celebrates our community’s founding and birthday. It has grown into a great celebration of all that is good in our city,” said Dunnigan. 

For more information on Taylorsville Dayzz events and times, see page 13 or visit www.taylorsvilleut.gov.   
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