Draper City celebrates its 35th birthday
Draper Cityis now officially 35 years old. A celebration was held at DraperCity Hallon Feb. 22 to commemorate the anniversary of the city’s founding. Many residents, past and present city council members and Draper staff took part in the ceremony that opened the celebration.
“It’s a milestone; it’s one of those points in life that you celebrate, but more importantly, you think about what’s next and move forward,” Mayor Darrell Smith said. “In 35 years, Draper has changed a lot, but we feel like we have the same base, a foundation from the people in the community. You can’t forget that. The spirit of the past is the strength of our future.”
Former City Councilmember Allen P. Smith spoke during the short program, reading a poem he had written. Smith was a part of Draper’s first city council. Darrell Smith, City Manager David Dobbins and the Draper Police Color Guard also participated.
“It’s wonderful to see what Draper has become,” Allen Smith said. “I think we’ve done very well controlling the growth and bringing the needs of the city to the city.”
Once the program had completed, cake was handed out to everyone in attendance. While attendees ate cake, they had the opportunity to look at a living history display that included pictures and newspaper articles from 35 years ago.
The celebration continued through the rest of the day in the lobby of City Hall. Special Events Planner Stefania Wilks said this was the first time the city had celebrated a birthday in this way. It is part of the city’s commitment to preserving its heritage.
“I’m so pleased with how this turned out,” Wilks said. “We are working to keep track of the city’s history. We’ve tried to interview all the council members from the first council that are living. We have recorded them and will turn that over to the historical society to be kept as part of the city’s history.”
Mayor Smith said the city has been growing since it was first organized in 1849. He said residents can expect to see more growth on the west side of I-15, including more commercial businesses and higher density housing. He also spoke about the possibility of utilizing the land the Utah State Prison currently sits on if plans to move it go through.
The area around City Hall is another area Smith said he hopes will continue to grow. With the new UTA TRAX light rail stop, the Draper Library and SeniorCenter, City Hall, and the possibility of a new police station in the future, this area will be a place residents can be proud of, he said.
“We have to stay focused on keeping Draper a family-oriented but aggressive community that businesses still want to come to and people want to live in,” he said. “There are a lot of things left to do, but we’ve come a long way. We’ve had some lofty goals, but I think we’ve met most of them. Hopefully, good fortune and some luck along the way will continue to remain with us.”