This year’s 51sth Annual Ox Roast Fair the weekend of July 18-20 at St. Joseph’s in Mantua was a wonderful event despite some weather challenges. Mother Nature gave us a little bit of everything . . . a beautiful Friday, off & on showers for Saturday with cooler temps, and then a hot & humid Sunday. Crowds did not disappoint;  the fun and entertainment were delightful and the food was delicious, as usual. Folks from the surrounding area and even out of state visitors enjoyed the hospitality of the Parish Community of St. Joseph. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported, volunteered, promoted, donated, and worked this year’s great event. This annual parish fundraiser directly supports the educational and sacramental ministries of St. Joseph Parish.

The Fair’s raffle drawings were held at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. For the event’s main raffle the 2nd prize of a $500 Kalahari Resort gift card was won by Nanette Van Auken of Mantua, and the top prize of $5,000 was awarded to Tom Gedeon of Garrettsville. A few lucky fair-goers were awarded prizes through the hourly drawings in which winners had to be present: Camille Bichsel, Deb Bukas, Gary Kwasny, and Amanda Willett.

The 50/50 raffle was held each day with the following prizes awarded: Friday – no winner ($$ rolled over to Saturday), Saturday ($1,351.00) – Marian Angus of Windham, Sunday ($597.50) – Anonymous of Hudson. The Knights of Columbus Women’s Auxiliary held a raffle for an RCA 46″ LED Flat-screen TV which went to Crystal Chevrier. Second prize of a Sports Basket went to Terry Frost. Proceeds from their raffle go towards furnishing the group’s “Christmas Family” with food and gifts for the entire family.

Now in it’s third year, the “Run of the Ox” 5K Run/Walk was held on Saturday morning with 82 participants despite steady showers. Coming out on top overall for the men were Pete Hannan, Jakab McConnell, and David Krause, and for the women were Rosalie Franek, Kira Edic, and Michelle Zuponcu. For a complete list of placement times, visit and click on race results.

A big thank you to event sponsors and donators: Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, Coldwell Banker, Giant Eagle, University Dental of Garrettsville, Inc., F & S Automotive, Compass Packaging, Brooks & Stafford, Jake’s.

Another great crowd-pleaser was the Kiddie Tractor Pulls on Saturday. The Mantua Knights of Columbus donated their equipment for the little pullers and members helped run the event. Trophies were awarded to the following top winners. In the 4 & 5 age category, Colton Warnick, age 4 of Garrettsville, placed third, Matt Wright, age 5 of Butler, took second, and Dmitry Hruby, age 5 of Grafton, won the age level with his first place pull. For the 6 & 7 year olds, Sam Wright, age 7 of Butler, accomplished third place, Hank Winland, age 7 of Mantua, won second place, and Roxxy Bretz, age 7 of Mantua, beat them out for first place. The 8 & 9 year old level saw Kierra Lommler, age 8 of Streetsboro, placed third, Dominic Goff, age 8 of Shalersville, achieved second place, and Nathan Walker, age 8 of Shalersville, attained first place.

Sunday’s Frog Jumping Contest was a hopping good time. Congratulations to third prize winner Brandon Hall, age 8 of Kent, who was awarded $3.00, a stuffed frog toy, and an Ox Roast t-shirt, and to second prize winner Ally Clayman, age 10 of Mantua who won $5.00, a stuffed frog toy, and a t-shirt. First prize of $10.00, a stuffed frog toy, and a t-shirt was won by Brendan Fejes, age 9 of Mantua.

Thank you to all of our karaoke contest participants, our judges Tiffany Bolton, Skip (from Jake’s), Jason Stakowski, and a special thanks to Jake’s, the event’s sponsor. Congratulations to the following who came out on top! 1st ($200) – Connor Rowe, Mantua; 2nd ($100) – Mya, Ky, Mani & VV Hawkins/Whitehead, Ravenna; 3rd ($50) – Raymond Markward, Shalersville.

Girl Scout Troops assisted in collecting non-perishable products for Mantua’s community cupboard, the 4C’s on Sunday. They delivered canned goods and other items to the 4C’s who were most appreciative on behalf of those in need. As in years past, St. Joseph’s donated leftover food items to the Center of Hope in Ravenna who were most appreciative. In addition to the Girl Scouts several of our Parish Groups wish to thank all who supported their efforts at this year’s Fair. Members of the Knights of Columbus Council #3766 volunteer a tremendous amount of time helping with maintenance, set-up, and take-down as well as working throughout the Fair. Boy Scout Troop #575 members and their families continued delicious fund raising efforts with their Sausage Sandwich booth. This hard-working group of young men put forth a tremendous effort in helping with Fair set-up, cleaning the grounds, and take-down of the Fair. Members of Cub Scout Pack #3575 manned the Pop Booth once again this year. Thanks, guys! The Crestwood Band Boosters added to the Fair by handling the Dunking Booth to help raise funds for themselves and the parish. A similar agreement was made with the Crestwood Youth Wrestling group who did a terrific job assisting with parking on the grounds and with Aurora’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Knights of Columbus Council #14186 who provided delicious kettle corn.

Trade booths at this year’s fair included: Carlton Harley-Davidson, Tupperware (Megan Starr), Judges Muldowney/Berger, Scentsy Wickless Candles, Shaffer Airbrushing, Mel Jabkul’s Crafts, Portage County Tea Party, Over The Line Productions (Caricatures), Ohio State Home Services, Inc., Crossroads Community Church, For Rednecks By Rednecks, M-Bellished Frames by CQPQ, Final Touch Construction, Bath Fitter, and University Hospital. Thank you to each of them for adding to the festivities. Our generous sponsors toward the fireworks display were 7 Up Bottling Group and Snapple Beverages.

A big thank you to a number of area businesses and individuals helped to sponsor our Truck, Tractor & Semi Pulls throughout the weekend: Special Moments Catering, Auburn Pipe, Aflac Insurance, Lyle Tayerle, Independent Agent, Auto Rehab, Jon Martin, Owner, Geauga Lake Auto Sales, Ferrara Electric (Joe Ferrara, owner), Lakeside Sand & Gravel, Penney’s Automotive, TL Service Center, F & S Automotive, Impressions Styling Studio (Gina Fischione), Acorn LPG (donating propane), Sunrise Springs (donating bottled water), Dr. Thomas Pesarchick, DDS, Osborn Landscaping, Industrial Connections, Kozsey Landscaping Service, My First  School, Aurora, Kodash Excavating, Mantua, Hiram House Salon & Day Spa (Tammy Lingro), Ittell Transportation (David Ittel, owner), and Central Petroleum Co. Visit the parish’s website for a complete list of pull results.

The Ox Roast Fair also wishes to thank several generous businesses who donated items for this year’s event: 7UP Bottling Group & Snapple Beverages; Sunrise Springs offered the bottled water used for making the Lemon Shake-Ups; Hermann’s Pickles of Garrettsville for several gallons of their delicious product; beer mug sponsors The Village Tavern, Carma Promotions, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, Jake’s, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, TL Service Center, Denny Herr & Sons Well & Pump, and Carlton Yarnell Chipping Service, LLC; raffle ticket printing costs were covered by McGinnis Amusements; Mantua Station Drug Co. helped with flyer printing expenses; and, Acorn LPG of Ravenna provided propane used throughout the weekend. St. Joseph’s would also like to express their appreciation to the Entertainment Stage sponsor, Carlton Harley-Davidson, to the Family Ox Land sponsor, Barky Mart, to the EMS Squad sponsor, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, and to this year’s Blessing of Bikes sponsor, The Village Tavern, and to anyone who donated or supported this year’s event in any way.

The Parish Community of St. Joseph’s looks forward to entertaining and meeting the Mantua community and beyond in 2015. Mark your calendars for the third weekend in July, 2015 (that’s the 17th, 18th & 19th) for St. Joseph’s 52nd Annual Ox Roast Fair. Be sure to visit their website,, for complete details. They also have a Facebook page, St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair, with lots of photos and news.

Again, St. Joe’s thanks everyone who made this year’s Fair such a community success.