Naperville Jaycees name longtime band director Ron Keller as parade grand marshal

Ron Keller directing the Naperville Municipal Band
Donate Today

The Naperville Jaycees have chosen Ron Keller, the Director Emeritus of the Naperville Municipal Band, as their 2023 Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal.

Band director for more than five decades

Keller served as band director of the Naperville Municipal Band for 57 years, stepping down from his post at the end of this year’s summer concert series. But his history with the band stretches back even further, having started as a soloist with them in 1951 while he was in junior high.

The Jaycees say Keller was chosen as grand marshal to “celebrate his decades long-standing commitment to the musical education of the Naperville community at the Last Fling Labor Day Parade,” according to a news release from the group. The Naperville Municipal Band has been a regular participant in the parade for  years.

Besides directing the band, Keller also taught students ranging from grade school age through college, as well as some church choirs’ members.

Special musical connection to the Jaycees

Keller has a special musical connection to the Naperville Jaycees. In 2003 he created a march titled “The Spirit of the Jaycees.” The tune was created to commemorate the group’s donation of funds to support the Community Concert Center, which had just been built.

About the Labor Day Parade

The Labor Day Parade is an annual tradition in Naperville, capping off the weekend of the Naperville Jaycees’ Last Fling festival.

The parade will kick off at Naperville North High School at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4, and weave its way through downtown Naperville, ending at Naperville Central High School. The full parade route can be viewed on the Last Fling website.

Photo credit: Naperville Jaycees, handout

If you have a story idea, we want to hear from you!