Ox Roast Celebrates 50th Year
Mantua – Mark your calendar for the weekend of July 19th through the 21st for the St. Joseph Ox Roast in Mantua. This year’s event, theme is “50 Years of Magnificence,” and will feature three days of food, rides, games, and family fun. The fun starts on Friday night, with a fireworks display by Pyrotecnico Fireworks. Saturday morning, runners will have the opportunity to be a part of the 5K Ox Run or 1M Fun Walk. The 5K race takes place Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. and the course begins and ends at St. Joe’s. The One Mile Fun Walk takes place on church grounds. On Sunday, the popular Frog Jumping Contest will take place at 3 p.m. With an entry fee of $1.00, you can bring your own jumper, or “rent-a-frog” for another $1.00. Those with winning frogs will be awarded prizes, and bragging rights for another year.
In addition to standard carnival fair, Ox Roast beef has always been a big part of this annual festival. To prepare for the event, 35,000 pounds of sirloin roasts are prepared in brick-lined pits which are heated several days before the fair with a constantly burning fire. The beef is seasoned, wrapped in unbleached muslin and netting, and placed in the coals, covered, and cooked for several hours until done to perfection. The result is a mouth-watering, slow-cooked beef sandwich or dinner that some folks wait all year to enjoy.
Adding to the great food, McGinnis Amusements will provide the Big Midway with big fun in a variety of carnival rides and games. Ride specials will be offered, so kids of all ages can purchase a bracelet for a designated time slot and ride to their hearts’ content. And Kids’ Ox Land is a designated spot just for younger kids where families can enjoy games like the Duck Pond, “fishing” for Turtles, Lucky Lollipops, all run by St. Joseph Parish volunteers.
Throughout the weekend, Ox Idol contests, live music, tractor pulls and kiddie tractor pulls offer opportunities for family fun. Adult fairgoers may also wish to try their luck in the Indoor Casino, which features black jack, chuck-a-luck, Texas hold ‘em, let it ride, and beat the dealer.
Started in 1964, the Ox Roast Fair directly supports the educational and sacramental ministries of St. Joseph Parish in Mantua. The Fair can be found at St. Joseph’s Parish, 11045 St. Joseph Boulevard, off Bowen Road in Mantua. For more information on the Ox Roast, visit www.stjosephmantua.com/oxdetails.htm.