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Monday, February 26, 2024

Naperville Jaycees announce Ron Keller, Director Emeritus of NMB, will serve as 2023 Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal

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Above / Strike up the band! During the August City Council meeting, Mayor Scott Wehrli and the City of Naperville honored Ron Keller with a street sign designating Ron Keller Commemorative Way along Court Place in Central Park. The Naperville Jaycees also will honor Ron Keller, Director Emeritus of Naperville Municipal Band as 2023 Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal!

Ron Keller conducts his final concert as the NMB Director on Aug. 10, 2023. (PN Photo)

Join the Naperville Jaycees and Parade Marshal Ron Keller on Mon., Sept. 4, 2023, to celebrate his decades-long-standing commitment to the musical education of the Naperville Community at the Last Fling Labor Day Parade!

Dr. Keller has been a member of the Naperville Municipal Band for more than 70 years; starting as a soloist and soon after joining the tuba section while still in middle school.  He took over the role of Director in his late 20s, continuing that role for 57 years.  In that time, he’s become an accomplished musician with mastery of many instruments.                       

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In addition to the numerous awards bestowed upon the band under his leadership, Keller has gained the respect of many when he’s taught grade school, junior and senior high school students as well as college level and even church choirs’ members.

In 2003, the conductor often recognized as Naperville’s “Tubaman” created “The Spirit of the Jaycees”, a march to commemorate the Naperville Jaycees monetary donation to support the Community Concert Center which was newly built at the time.

Back in 2019, Ron Keller led the marching Naperville Municipal Band during the Jaycees Last Fling Parade. (PN File Photo)

Last Fling Labor Day Parade steps off at 10AM Mon., Sept. 4, 2023

The Last Fling Labor Day Parade starts its journey through Downtown Naperville at 10AM on Mon., Sept. 4, 2023.

For further information, to view a map of the parade route, to register, or to become a sponsor, please visit Naperville Last Fling – Labor Day Parade

The Naperville Jaycees are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees of the Last Fling. As in prior years, the organization is working closely with Naperville Emergency Response Teams to ensure the most up-to-date security measures are instituted in effort to achieve a secure and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend for volunteers, participants, and patrons. For more information, contact Naperville Last Fling – Public Relations via email.

The Naperville Municipal Band will host a retirement party for Ron Keller at the Judd Kendall VFW Post, located at 908 W. Jackson Avenue. Plenty of free parking a available at the rear of the building. Note that the Naperville Jaycees also host their monthly meetings at the VFW.  (PN File Photo)

But first! Retirement Reception for Dr. Keller is Sun., Aug. 27, 2023

Kindly note a public open house welcomes the community to share memories with Ron Keller and the Naperville Municipal Band from 2:30 to 5:30PM Sun., Aug. 27, at the Judd Kendall VFW Post, located at 908 W. Jackson Avenue.

Light refreshments, including cake and coffee, will be served. A cash bar will be available.

“We hope folks will stop by for a few minutes to share a few memories,” said Vicki Keller, Ron Keller’s wife. “Attire is very casual. Band manager Cindy Neumann has created a slide show featuring photos of Ron’s growing up and time with the band that will be on a loop.”

Tables will be set up so guests can fill out cards with hand-written memories of their experiences that include Dr. Ron Keller and the Naperville Municipal Band.

Or simply bring a card or previously written memory that will help Naperville’s Music Man continue to tell his story.

No gifts, please.

Labor Day Parade story submitted by Karen Coleman, 2023 Naperville Last Fling Public Relations Chair.

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.

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