Mantua – Mother Nature gave the 54th Ox Roast Fair a break with only a few showers and everyone had a wonderful time. 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. St. Joe’s summer seminarian, Jerry Land, jumped right into the events of the Fair and was impressed with the physical and mental effort that went into the preparation and how the faith community welcomed all that came sharing whatever gifts they have. One example was the giving spirit that occurred during Sunday’s power outage when several electricians, set-up crew, and parish families came to the rescue bringing generators, their expertise, and connections to get the Fair up & running in short order. 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. Congratulations to Sam Puterek of Chagrin Falls who was our Main Raffle 1st prize winner of the Ford F150 4WD Pick-Up supplied by Kepich Ford of Garrettsville! Second prize of $1,500 went to Lisa Van Newal of Hudson. Third prize of the flat screen TV donated by Coldwell Banker Real Estate & Right Path Home Inspections went to Ellen Baird of Ravenna. $100 Hourly Drawings were won by Kathy Gray & Logan Zuponcik (others drawn were not present). Thank you to everyone who supported this part of the 54th Ox Roast Fair. The 50/50 raffle was held each day with the following prizes awarded: Friday: 8:00 p.m. – Paul Thompson ($248.00) 10:00 p.m. – Jack Haney ($328.00), Saturday: 8:00 p.m. – Sonya Smith ($438.50), 10:00 p.m. – Anthony Williams ($278.00), Sunday: 8:00 p.m. – Brian Perkins ($474.00), 9:30 p.m. – Larry Kotkowski ($217.00)

The Knights of Columbus Women’s Auxiliary held a raffle for a variety of themed baskets. Lucky winners were: Quilted Wall Hanging – Kayla Burkett, Corn Hole Set – Sr. Rose Anne Krantz, Ox Roast Basket – Mickey Rorabeck, Kitty Cat Basket – Sr. Rose Anne Krantz, Puppy Care Basket – Leroy Kasunick, Family Game Night Basket – Pat Lunghoffer, Grilling Basket – Pat Myers, Summer Fun Basket – Jessica Oravetz, Clean Car Basket – Linda Litz. Proceeds go towards the group’s community-minded efforts. St. Joseph Church had a booth offering parish information and jewelry.

Now in its sixth year, the “Run of the Ox” 5K Run/Walk was held on Saturday morning had a nice showing of participants. Despite the rainy morning, the event had 85 people participating this year’s Run of the Ox 5K Run/Walk and a few more taking part in the 1M Fun Run/Walk. Congratulations to our top three finishers Nolan Wysong, 14 (18.10), Jacob Gerhardt, 16 (18.18), and Jason Kinnley, Jr., 15 (19.07). For a full list of racers published by HMA Promotions with times & places, visit http://hmapromotions.net (click on race results). We are grateful for Brian & Jen Hirsch for coordinating our race each year. Thank you to the following businesses who have offered to supported our 2017 race: Ellerhorst-Russell Insurance Agency, LLC, Carlton Harley Davidson, Women’s Auxiliary of Mantua K of C, The Village Tavern, University Dental of Garrettsville, Jake’s, CYC Mulch, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel.

Thank you to all those who came out to participate in this year’s Tractor, Truck & Semi Pulls. Unfortunately, the Garden Tractor Pulls had to be cancelled Saturday morning due to the rain & condition of the track. Thank you to our chairperson, Tim Rooth (& his wife, Sue) and crew along with Gerry DeYoung & the Geauga County Antique Tractor Pullers Association for running this event. For a list of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place finishers in each class, please visit the Pulls Page of our parish website. We are also gratefully acknowledge our 2017 Pull Sponsors: Charles Auto Family (all pulls), Ellerhorst Russell Insurance Agency, LLC, The Weekly Villager, Ferrara Electric, University Dental of Garrettsville, F & S Automotive, T.L. Service Center, Inc., Auburn Pipe & Plumbers Supply Co., Citizens for Crestwood, Skala Insurance Agency LLC, Impressions Styling Studio, Kepich Ford of Garrettsville, TLX Mantua. Charles Auto Family also sponsored the printing expenses for the pull flyers.

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 year age category, Caden Krukowski, age 4, of Auburn placed 1st, Troy Brugmann, 5, of Shalersville, came in 2nd, and winding up 3rd was Trevor Harper, 5, of Mantua. Alexander Valdez, 6, of Mantua, topped out the 6 & 7 years olds with Kamden Silvis, 7, of Mantua, and Khloe Kuenzer, 7 of Cleveland, coming in 2nd & 3rd. For the 8 & 9 year olds, 1st place was awarded to Isabell Brugmann, 8, of Shalersville, 2nd wend to Seth Runewicz, 9, of Garrettsville, and rounding out the category was 3rd place finisher Bob Szyms, 9, from Middleburg Heights.

Sunday’s Frog Jumping Contest was a hopping good time with cash prizes, stuffed frog toys & Ox Roast t-shirts awarded. This ever-popular event provided some old-fashioned fun for everyone. In addition to the cash prize, winners were awarded a stuffed frog & Ox T-Shirt. For chairing this event, we thank Lori & Joe Duriak, who say they are retiring after 40 years! Coming out on top with their “jumpers” in 2017 were the following winners: 1st ($10 & stuffed frog) – Ally Clayman (13), Mantua; 2nd ($5 & stuffed frog) – Ethan Palmer (10), Cincinnati; and 3rd ($3 & stuffed frog) – Leah Vojtko (6), Mantua.
Thank you to all of our karaoke contest participants and DJ Chuck Casalicchio for running this event. 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. The Dunking Booth was manned by members of the Mantua-Shalersville Youth Baseball.

Did you know that one of St. Jospeh’s own parishioners, Ken Zander, has designed many of the Ox Roast T-Shirts? It began in 2000 with the colorful Ox Battling a Tractor design. We are most grateful to him for offering his talents nearly every year since 2003 including an “Ox worker’s” design (look for many of them on our website). We also use Ken’s design on the souvenir mugs and Run of the Ox shirts. He’s the same creative guy who came up with “The Legend of St. Joseph’s Ox Roast Fair” coloring book & coloring contest. Held for ages 2-12, this contest saw 20 participants competing for Ox Roast Fair T-Shirts, free coloring books, and the Grand Prize of two all day ride bracelets. Coming out on top for their artistic ability, creativity, and craftsmanship (neatness), we congratulate Airis Furner (4), Josh Kalman (6), Owen Bass (9), and Grand Prize winner Mikey Kalman (11). A huge thank you to St. Joseph parishioner Ken Zander for creating the coloring book and contest page.

Trade booths at this year’s fair included: Universal Windows Direct, Champion Windows and Home Exteriors, Jazzy World, Scentsy, Renewal by Anderson, Devine Designs by MG, Cutco (Vector Marketing), Tupperware (Loretta’s Rainbow), Bath Fitter, Ohio State Waterproofing, Citizens for Crestwood, Stacy Harju – LuLaRoe, Marshall Power Equipment, United States Marine Corps, Tommy’s Old Fashioned Jerky, Ma & Pa’s (outside furniture & crafts), Buckeye Boilers, FRBR (For Rednecks By Rednecks), Kepich Ford, Hero’s Rock, Erin’s Home Decor & More, St. Joseph Church Info. Thank you to each of them for adding to the festivities.

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 wood chips for the fair grounds & to Howard Stoddard Trucking for delivering mulch for the parish flower beds, Master Builders for the use of their benches; beer mug sponsors Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, Jake’s Eats, Quality Car Care/Fishnet Motorsports; Mantua Station Drug Co. and Crooked River Adventures helped with flyer printing expenses; and, Acorn LPG of Ravenna provided propane used throughout the weekend. St. Joseph’s would also like to express appreciation to the Entertainment Main Stage sponsor, Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, to CYC Mulch and Carlton Harley-Davidson for sponsoring the Talent/Ox Idol Stage, to the EMS Squad sponsor, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, 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 2018. Mark your calendars for the third weekend in July, 2018 (that’s the 20th, 21st & 22nd) for St. Joseph’s 55th Annual Ox Roast Fair. Be sure to visit their website, www.stjosephmantua.com, 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.