Grand Marshall

The Ogden Pioneer Days Committee is proud to present

David & Ronda Wadman

Our 2022 Grand Marshall

David and Ronda Wadman are happy and honored to the be the Grand Marshall of the 2022 Ogden Pioneer Days Celebration. Both David and Ronda have enjoyed the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo since their youth. Wadman Corporation has been a title sponsor for the past 20 years and have felt it a privilege to participate in this community event.

The Wadmans make their home in the Ogden Valley where they raised their six children. Those children have all grown and married and now David and Ronda are enjoying the blessings of 24 grandchildren. The Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo has been a great family tradition they look forward to every year.

The thrills, the spills, the patriotic feeling, the clowns, the cowgirls and cowboys, the horses, the bulls, the sheep the motorcycles are some of the Wadman’s favorite memories. David and Ronda feel that Pioneer Days is a great time to celebrate the courage and strength of our pioneer ancestors, who willingly left their comfortable lives to be able to worship God and live with freedom to choose. They came to a new place and faced many challenging experiences. Faith in God, our country and family values are important to David and Ronda. They said, “The Ogden Pioneer Days Celebration helps us enjoy these great values as they remind us of what is important in our lives.” They added, “May we be as brave and courageous as our pioneer ancestors as we face the challenges of our days and live up to the values and principles as they did.”

The Selection Process

The Ogden Pioneer Days Foundation Board of Trustees, and the leaders of its numerous committees, select a favored honoree from among many nominations received each year. This highly prized honor is given annually to well-known and highly respected individuals or couples who have distinguished themselves through:

  • Dedicated service to the people of Northern Utah
  • An exemplary history of volunteerism
  • Active promotion of the pioneer heritage and western lifestyle

View Previous Years' Grand Marshalls


Desiree “Des” Cooper-Larsen

Our beloved Des, the heart and soul of the Ogden Pioneer Days celebration, passed away from complications related to Covid 19 in February 2021.

She was a passionate teacher, leader, mentor, advocate and friend to all. She devoted her life to her husband Kurt, her family and community.

In her youth, she qualified for the National High School Rodeo Finals in barrel racing. Then danced her way on stage to win Miss Lehi, soon followed by the title of Miss Rodeo Lehi. In 1979, she went on to become Miss Rodeo Utah and then went on to win the coveted speech award at Miss Rodeo America. Des was known for her sense of style, strong determined spirit and larger-than-life presence.

Des earned her masters and bachelors degrees from Utah State University in Marketing Education. As a Professor of Professional Sales at Weber State University (WSU), she was twice honored with the Utah Association of Marketing Educators Teacher of the Year Award. Des shared her expertise with thousands of students during her 36 years as a professor, and provided customer service and sales training to national and local Fortune 500 companies.

Des worked endlessly for over thirty years to build a world class PRCA Hall of Fame Rodeo. She will be remembered for her successful efforts to make the Ogden-based rodeo a Top 5 PRCA Rodeo of the Year. Des is the one and only woman to chair the celebration in its 86-year history and was President of the Miss Rodeo Utah Executive Board, as well as a member of the Miss Rodeo America Foundation Board.

This year’s Ogden Pioneer Days will be especially meaningful as we return to celebrate the great pioneer spirit of our community, and the memory of our Grand Marshall honoree, Desiree Cooper-Larsen.


Dave Howells

Dave Howells was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1942. He attended schools in Salt Lake and was raised in the western lifestyle on a ranch in Summit County. “I’ve been around animals all of my life.”

He proudly served our country in the Air Force National Guard.

Dave and his wife, Carole, were married in 1964. They have four daughters (“all of them are horse enthusiasts”), 14 grandchildren, and are also blessed with 8 great-grandchildren.

Dave has been involved with Ogden Pioneer Days for more than 40 years, officially joining the committee in 1978. He served as chairman for 3 years in the late 1990’s and was instrumental in the creation of the Ogden Pioneer Heritage Foundation to continue the celebration.


Larry Crouch

"Ogden Pioneer Days and rodeo have been a part of my life for forty years. I was 10 years old, at the rodeo with my family, and saw a buckboard with a team of black horses. It was Otto Dover. Otto and his two friends were playing banjo, guitar and violin. That was the beginning of my interest and involvement with the rodeo and Ogden Pioneer Days. I later bought that buckboard from Otto and used it at the rodeo with my team of paint horses to take dignitaries into the arena. The carriage we are using is a Glenn Falls three-seat surrey. I restored it 35 years ago. I have used it many times in the parade. The horses are owned and driven by Eugene Bailey from Eden. For 35 years I have provided carriages for parades and events in Ogden and Weber County. Joe Surrage and his family would provide the horses and drivers. It has been a pleasure to be part of the Ogden Pioneer Days, and I cherish these memories. To be asked to be the 2018 Grand Marshall of 24th of July Parade is an honor!"