Since 1945, Steel Days has been American Fork’s traditional celebration. Then-mayor O. De Vere Wootton decided Poultry Day no longer reflected the city’s economy. The newly constructed Columbia Steel Mill brought many newcomers, who made an impact on housing, utilities, traffic, and commerce. The mill became the largest employer in Utah Valley. Two individuals suggested “Steel Day” after a request for ideas for a name for the celebration. Steel Day was selected and was celebrated on Labor Day.
In 1946, Steel Day was a full day of events, similar to Poultry Day. The American Fork Chamber of Commerce was also established that year and was involved in the planning of the Steel Day events. The parade featured numerous floats decorated for and by local businesses. Bands came from Tooele, Salt Lake City, Nephi, Payson, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, and Provo. The parade was presented twice for many years – at 10:00 a.m. from 500 West Main Street to 500 East and then at 6:00 p.m. when the route was reversed.
The duration of Steel Days expanded from one day to three days, then four and five days, and eventually to ten days. Currently, Steel Days runs for eight days and includes over 30 events.