CORONAVIRUS

Solon Beef Days cancels traditional events, but 'surprise' in store for community, organizers say

Beef Days committee to unveil changes to programming over coming weeks

Amanda Owens heaves a straw bale on her way to winning the women's division of the hay bale toss competition at Solon Be
Amanda Owens heaves a straw bale on her way to winning the women’s division of the hay bale toss competition at Solon Beef Days in Solon, Iowa, on Friday, July 19, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Solon Beef Days started in 1971 as an attempt to bring back an “old-time celebration.” This year, the coronavirus is forcing the festival to cancel its traditional events and change things up.

The Solon Beef Days committee announced Tuesday that events were canceled to keep the community and volunteers safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The volunteer-led festival was set for July 17 and 18.

According to the announcement, the committee was well into planning the 2020 festival before COVID-19 put everything on hold. Committee members spoke with city officials and local health agencies before deciding Beef Days couldn’t be put on as normal with social distancing guidelines and other restrictions set forth by the state.

Despite the cancellation, there are some surprises for the community the committee says it plans to unveil in the coming weeks.

“We hope you can understand the steps we’re taking to help keep our community, volunteers and wonderful Beef Days goers safe,” the announcement said.

Events last year included a 5k run, sports tournaments, a parade, free music, and a hay bale throwing competition frequented by Iowa football players.

According to its website, the festival raises funds for local nonprofit groups, and has donated more than $385,000 to local causes, including community projects and scholarships.

Comments: (319) 398-8371; brooklyn.draisey@thegazette.com

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.