This year’s Mother Nature smiled on the 53rd Ox Roast Fair and the crowds did not disappoint. Of course, this great event could not be put on with out the tireless efforts of hundreds of volunteers. Many go above and beyond, offering their time, talent, and treasure. Folks from the surrounding area and even out of state visitors enjoyed the hospitality of the Parish Community of St. Joseph. This was the first Ox Roast Fair for St. Joseph Parish’s pastor, Father Ed Stafford, who came to the parish September 1, 2016. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported, volunteered, promoted, donated, and worked this year’s Ox Roast. 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 3rd prize of a 60” flat screen TV donated by Kepich Ford of Garrettsvile went to Brand Sawyer of Aurora, the 2nd prize of a $3,000 was won by Willie & Joe (hometown unknown), and the top prize of a Harley Street Glide FLHXs Motorcycle (provided by Carlton Harley-Davidson of Mantua) was awarded to Erin Oulton of Marysville. Lucky fair-goers Mark Bruyere and Tom Caldwell won one of the $100 hourly drawings (others drawn were not present). The 50/50 raffle was held each day with the following prizes awarded:  Friday ($423) – Katie Larch, Saturday ($720) – Melinda Bates, Sunday ($536.50) – Thomas Moore. The Knights of Columbus Women’s Auxiliary held a raffle for a variety of themed baskets. Lucky winners were:  Ox Roast Fair Basket > Ellen Baird; Pamper Me Basket > Kim Baird; Everything Disney Basket > Mary Jan Cuprak; Grill Your Heart Out Basket > Ellen Baird; Love My Pet Basket > Nancy & Mike Lawrence; Any Sport Basket > Adam Bly; Family Fun Day Basket > John Muno; Let’s Win Lottery Basket > Dan Baumbick; Gifts For You > Debbie Burkett. Proceeds go towards the group’s community-minded efforts. St. Joseph Church had a booth offering parish information and jewelry.

Now in it’s fifth year, the “Run of the Ox” 5K Run/Walk was held on Saturday morning had a nice showing of participants. For a complete list of placement times, visit and click on race results. A big thank you to event sponsors and donators:  University Dental, University Hospital Portage Medical Center, Mantua Auto Parts, Inc., Italiano’s Pizza & Catering, Jake’s Market, Coldwell Bankers, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, Inc., Iron Horse Saloon, Bennett Land Title Agency, Inc.

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, Alexander Valdez, age 5 of Mantua, placed third, Sammy Saudick, age 5 of Canton, took second, and Aiden Weissen, age 5 of Mantua, won the age level with his first place pull. For the 6 & 7 year olds, Isabel Brugmann, age 7 of Mantua, accomplished third place, Kamdon Silvis, age 7 of Mantua, won second place, and Aiden Stegh, age 7 of Mantua, beat them out for first place. The 8 & 9 year old level saw Andon Mierzejews, age 8 of Mantua, place third, Roxxy Bretz, age 9 of Mantua, achieve second place, and Hank Winland, age 9 of Mantua, attained first place.

Sunday’s Frog Jumping Contest was a hopping good time with cash prizes, stuffed frog toys & Ox Roast t-shirts awarded. Congratulations to third prize winner Ally Clayman, age 12 of Mantua, and to second prize winner Rita Paul, age 15 months of Hiram. First prize was won by Megan Crissman, age 12 of Stow.

Thank you to all of our karaoke contest participants, our Deacon Gerry Scopilliti, Jason Stachowski (winner of Garrettsville Idol 2016), and Jerry from Carlton’s Harley-Davidson. Finalists included  Dan Halansky, Eric, Perrault, Liz Mays, Dale Laur, Pam Wenger, Lexie Smith, Krystin Gonzalez, Jake Stumm, Maureen O’Connor, Raymond Markward, Johnny, James Opole. Congratulations to the following singers who came out on top:  1st ($200) – Maureen O’Connor, North Royalton, OH; 2nd ($100) – Krsytin Gonzalez, Stow, OH; 3rd ($50) – Dan Halansky, Mercer, PA.

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 year’s past, St. Joseph’s donated leftover food items to the Center of Hope in Ravenna who were truly grateful. In addition to the Girl Scouts several of our Parish Groups and individuals need to be thanked for 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 Youth Wrestling group did a terrific job assisting with parking on the grounds to help raise funds for themselves and the parish, and with Aurora’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Knights of Columbus Council #14186 who provided delicious kettle corn. Ken Zander creates the t-shirt design for the Ox Roast T-Shirt and the Run of the Ox T-shirt.

Trade booths at this year’s fair included:  Scentsy Fragrance, Carlton Harley-Davidson, Universal Windows Direct, No Assumptions, Inc., Unique Home Solutions, Tupperware, Bath Fitter, Joseph Conroy Novelties, Tia Paoloni for Clerk of Courts, Gutter Helmet Systems, Marshall Power Equipment, Erin’s Home Decor & More, Ohio State Waterproofing, Champion Windows, Christina Airbrush, Sunset Toys, Bath Planet, Natural Choice Home Foods, Robert Callahan, Pro-Life, St. Joseph Church Info. Thank you to each of them for adding to the festivities.

A big thank you to a number of area businesses and individuals helped to sponsor our Truck, Tractor & Semi Pulls throughout the weekend:  Ferrara Electric, Joe Ferrara, owner, Skala Insurance, Automotive Rehab, LLC, Jon Martin, Owner, Dr. Thomas Pesarchick, DDS (Garrettsville), F & S Automotive, Inc., Auburn Pipe & Plumbers Supply, Penney’s Auto Body, Inc., Citizens for Cromes, TL Service Center, Inc., Impressions Styling Studio, Gina Fischione, owner, Special Moments Catering, Jill Fankhauser for Clerk of Courts, Sabrina Christian-Bennet for Commissioner, Mike Kerrigan for Commissioner, Mike Ink Tattoo Studio, Kodash Excavating, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Acorn LPG (donating propane), Sunrise Springs (donating Lemon Shake-Up water).

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, CYC Mulch for providing mulch, Master Builders for the use of their benches;  beer mug sponsors  F & S Automotive, Perfect Choice Auto Collision, Jimmy D’s Lil Store, Yarnell Tree Service, TL Service Center, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel & Quality Car Care; Mantua Station Drug Co. and Ferrara Electric 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, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, to the EMS Squad sponsor, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, and to this year’s Blessing of Bikes sponsor, Mantua Corners Bar & Grille, 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 2017. Mark your calendars for the third weekend in July, 2017 (that’s the 21st, 22nd & 23rd) for St. Joseph’s 54th 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.