SOLON– The Solon Beef Days event grew out of a 1971 celebration planned and put on by four civic groups in Solon trying to revitalize an “Old Time Celebration.” Back in the 1940s Solon used to have two community celebrations, the June Jubilee Days celebration and Homecoming celebration in October of each year. The four groups that started Beef Days were the Solon Optimist Club, Solon Fire Department, Solon American Legion and the Solon Jaycees. It is named after Beef, as the Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association came in and cooked the steaks served at the event the first few years. When searching for an appropriate name for an annual Celebration, Beef seemed a good choice and stuck.
The organizers of the 1971 celebration enlisted the support of individuals and local non-profit organizations. Working together, they planned a onetime event which had such an enormous impact on and received such positive support from the community that they did it again in 1972 and every year since.
The Solon Beef Days Celebration incorporated in 1978, acquired non-profit status and created an all-volunteer, hard working organization that included officers and committee chair’s to head up the event. Each Officer and Committee Chair has specific responsibilities which he or she oversees during the course of the year, as well as during the Beef Days Celebration weekend, i.e. Some of them are Entertainment, Parade, Beer Tent, Beef Dinner, Kids Corner, etc. The Board works hard to put on the best, most varied entertainment possible, while keeping a close eye on expenditures.
An important aspect of the Solon Beef Days Celebration is its role as a fund-raiser for local non-profit groups. Many service groups depend on Solon Beef Days as their largest fund-raiser of the year. In addition, profits from the Celebration are funneled back into the community and surrounding area as donations, large and small, to the School District, civic groups, City and County projects and Organizations, senior citizens groups, scholarships for college-bound area students, Solon Parks Department improvements, Community Main Street causes, Recreation Department needs, etc. Since its inception, the Solon Beef Days Committee alone has donated in excess of $368,000 to a variety of local community projects, causes and scholarships.
Perhaps the most unbelievable aspect of this entire weekend is that it is TOTALLY FREE! There is no admission charge to any of the Concerts or Kids stage shows and events. Over this two day celebration, some 25,000 visitors meander through Main Street enjoying a wide variety of music and entertainment and not have to spend a penny. Solon Beef Days has become infamous and the Beef Days Committee focuses year round on safeguarding this traditional free weekend celebration.
As the Solon Beef Days turns 40 this year the Committee wishes to express its gratitude to the countless individuals and community service groups who give their time and talent to help make the Solon Beef Days Celebration a success each year. With their support and the support of the City of Solon, the Celebration continues to flourish. You are very much appreciated and are the reason for its continued success!