Each year the Beef Days Committee selects 3 Grand Marshals for the celebration and honors them by having them in the parade. (See more information below.)
Beef Days Grand Marshall – Tony Green
Tony Green has been chosen as this year’s Solon Beef Days Grand Marshall of the 2015 Celebration. Tony’s involvement of the Beef Days Committee began in 1995 when he asked veteran committee member Marv Stastny about adding a horseshoe tournament to the celebration activities and Marv’s response was to come to a Beef Days meeting. Tony says he did just that and for the past 20 years he has organized and ran the horseshoe event. When asked to be the Grand Marshall for this year’s event, Tony joked that he’s never watched the parade because he has always been at the horseshoe tournament.
In 1999 Tony had the idea to combine the Iowa farming work ethic with a Beef Days event that was fun for local farm kids and for anyone else crazy enough to do it, and so the famous Beef Days Hay Bale Toss event was born. Tony has also chaired this event since 1999 which has brought local, regional and national attention to the annual Beef Days Celebration and is a highlight of the Friday evening activities. Tony and his wife Angie have 5 children; Anthony, Navan, Cody, Reed and Vivian.
Beef Days Celebrity Grad Marshall – James Morris
James grew up in Solon and played both linebacker and running back and emerged as a local hero athlete during his high school career by helping Solon win 41 straight games and 3 consecutive Class 2A State titles. James began his college career with the University of Iowa as middle linebacker and was only the sixth Hawkeye in U of I’s history to reach 400 career tackles. He was named Big Ten Academic all-American and carried a 3.87 GPA and also earned a Big Ten Medal of Honor which is awarded to student-athletes who demonstrate excellence on and off the field through their college career.
James’ NFL career began when signing with the New England Patriots in 2014. James and wife, Taylor recently married in Solon on June 27th. James grandparents are Bob & Kay Morris and are this year’s Cornerstone Grand Marshalls making this Beef Days Parade a Morris family affair.
Cornerstone Grand Marshalls Bob and Kay Morris
Bob and Kay Morris have been chosen as this year’s Solon Beef Days Cornerstone Grand Marshalls of the 2015 Celebration. This special recognition is awarded to the Morris’s for their involvement in community activities that have made a positive impact on the Solon community and surrounding area. Bob and Kay (maiden name Shimon) have been married for 55 years. Kay was raised in Solon and met Bob, they married and raised 6 children; Greg, Tim,Maureen, Mark, Michael and Ann. They are also the proud grandparents of 10 grandchildren. Bob worked as an accountant before opening Bob’s DX on Main Street and ran the station for 40 years with Kay staying busy taking care of their children. Bob hired over 100 local kids to work at the station over those 40 years and taught each one about a strong work ethic. He is proud of each of them for their successes as adults.
Bob and Kay are also locally famous for throwing pizza parties which are known as a highlight of many Dollars for Scholars auctions over the years contributing to the education of many Solon students. Bob is a former Commander of the Solon American Legion Stinocher Post 460. A favorite Beef Days tradition for Bob was visiting with folks watching the parade and selling tickets for the Legion raffle. Bob will say the secret to his business success was to say “Hi” to folks and wash their windows when they pulled into his station. As for their success in marriage and family, Bob and Kay keep a nativity scene on display in their home all year long and faith and prayer are their cornerstones of life. Also Bob will say that when you are married to the right person, it’s like Christmas every day!