SOLON– This year On Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20, Solon Beef Days will hold its 43rd celebration. This two-day event, traditionally starting the third Friday in July, has collected and donated over $385,000 back into the community and surrounding area since its inception in 1971.
We hope to make this year’s celebration as special as last year with even more activities than ever before. One event we will be bringing back again this year is the car raffle giving away a brand new Chevy Aveo Saturday night between the bands playing. There are only 300 tickets sold for this car with nine other prizes. You have a one in 30 chance of winning something. Proceeds from that raffle will help defer the celebration’s expenses to raise more money for community projects.
As usual, we will have kid’s corner with games, clowns, magicians, singers, dancers, the pedal tractor pull, along with many other games for the kids. We again will have the carnival on the midway right down Main Street with wrist bands being sold Friday for unlimited rides. The food court will as usual be featuring rib eye steak dinners, steak and pork sandwiches, dogs, chicken and various other items from the non-profit groups in Solon.
This year there will be six bands on the main band stand playing over the weekend. The headliners include Pork Tornadoes Friday night after the Hay Bale Toss at 9 p.m. Earlier Silver Wings, a Beatles tribute band will start at 5 p.m. Saturday nights headliners include The Fez at 7 p.m. with Crazy Delicious at 10 p.m. Others on Saturday include The Muddy Rutts and Scott Cochran and Flannel.
Other major events are the 5K Run Saturday morning and the annual parade starting at 10 a.m., which has become one of largest candy throwing parade’s in Eastern Iowa.
In the last few years we have expanded the celebration to include new activities at kid’s corner and on Main Street. One such activity is the adult bags tournament all Saturday afternoon it’s become very popular and is now expanded to a 64 team tournament.
What’s different about our celebration is that we are a family oriented event with most of the activities being free. There is no cover charge to listen to the bands, enter the children’s events, etc. and all of the profits go right back into the community and surrounding counties. Many activities are funded by local businesses through their donations to the Beef Days Committee as recognized on banners and on the back of the Beef Days T-shirts. In addition, all of the food providers are area non-profit organizations that have taken much of their profits throughout the years and returned it to the area in some fashion or another. For many, the Solon Beef Days venue is their largest fundraiser. Solon Beef Days has become a tradition for Eastern Iowa and has provided a source of income to do the community and area projects that may never have been funded if not for this annual celebration. Almost every activity or event in this two-day celebration is staffed and managed by over 400 volunteers.
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions or would like to donate or get involved, please feel free to give Gary Bentrim, president of Solon Beef Days Committee a call at 319-624-2918.