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Draper Journal

Belated buzz on Draper’s 40th birthday party

Apr 06, 2018 10:49AM ● By Michelynne McGuire

Draper 04: A picture of the playing cards given as party gifts in honor of Drapers 40 year birthday. (Michelynne McGuire/City Journals)

If you weren’t able to make it to Draper’s 40th birthday party on Feb. 21 at Draper City Hall, here is some belated news to keep you buzzed in.

The party was open to the public, and guests were served cake that had commemorative pictures printed on it and ice cream to celebrate the 40 years Draper has been an incorporated city (1978–2018). Party gifts of playing cards were given out and city scrapbooks were open to the public for viewing.

The Draper Elementary School Choir performed, local speakers shared memories on the history of Draper and there were some poetic readings for attendees. Police Chief John Eining and other police and city staff made appearances.

Mayor Troy Walker gave a speech as well. He said “turning 40 is a good milestone. Forty is when most of us really start to hit our stride.”

“Most 40-year-olds, we have a few scars and have had some hard knocks. But we are all grown up now and we are using our life experience to our advantage,” Walker said.

He reflected on how much Draper has “changed in just the last 15 years. Even more has changed in the last 40. We have gone from being a one-stoplight farming town to an important city of almost 50 thousand people,” Walker said. 

A printed booklet containing some of the history of Draper City was compiled by Draper’s Public Information Officer Maridene Alexander. A few interesting facts from the booklet include:

·      Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, but Draper wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1978 starting out as a small farming community of 4,430 people. The intervening years has seen the city’s population grow to 47,328 in 2017.

·         Between 2000 and 2015, Draper’s population grew from 25,516 to 45,469, increasing at a rate of 78 percent and is slated to double by 2040

·       The average Draper resident is 31.1 years old, well educated and married with three to four children.

·       Draper’s boundaries include 30.2 square miles.

·      The average annual household income in 1978 was $20,460 whereas now it’s $123,678. 


With this rich history, Draper is, as Walker said, just beginning to hit its stride. 

With the growing families of Draper, a nice feature of the city is there are a number of ways to enjoy the community with 41 parks, 25 events per year, 99 miles of trails and 4,243 acres of city open space.

With new development coming to the growing city, 414 business licenses are issued each year.

And most recently, in 2017, the new Draper Fire Department began serving Draper residents

It seems that Draper is booming with development. The Draper Parks and Recreation Department plans and coordinates 15 events during the year, headed up by Event Planner David Wilks.

Every year during the summer, a celebration called Draper Days is held, featuring park activities, parades, sporting events, fireworks and more.

New events are springing up as well, such as the Daddy/Daughter Dance, Easter Egg Hunt, Arts and Crafts Festival, Children’s Bike Parade, Draper Days, Veterans Day Program, Haunted Hollow, Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Candy Cane Hunt, something for hopefully everyone.  

And if you want to give your fury friend an eventful time, there is something for them to enjoy as well at Dayland Dog Park, Draper City’s first dog park.

Perhaps no longer a spring chicken, Draper seems to be robust with change and aging with dignity.