Mantua – This year’s 50th Annual Ox Roast Fair the weekend of July 19-21 at St. Joseph’s in Mantua was a wonderful event despite some weather challenges. The severe heat and humidity of the week lifted late Friday, Saturday morning’s showers didn’t deter our 5K participants, and even the downpour later didn’t chase away all the visitors. Although the mud made for a challenging finish to the weekend, the crowds didn’t disappoint for the 50th celebration and another great year of community spirit! The fun and entertainment were delightful and the food was delicious, as usual, as 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 3rd prize of a $350.00 went to Katie Cook of Mantua, the 2nd prize of UTV donated by Kepich Ford of Garrettsville was won by Monica Fratus of Hiram, and the top prize of $6,400.00 was awarded to Joe Kotkowski of Shalersville. A few lucky fair-goers were awarded prizes through the hourly drawings in which winners had to be present:  Luci Curtin, Paula Gerba, Doug Engelhart, Sue Dick, and Ruth Fitzgerald. The 50/50 raffle was held each day with the following prizes awarded:  Friday ($628.00)-Ruth Fitzgerald, Saturday ($929.50)-Eric Szilagy, Sunday ($822.50)-Cathy Frances. The Knights of Columbus Women’s Auxiliary held a raffle for an RCA 42″ LED Full HDTV Flat-screen TV and X-Box Gaming System along with a beautiful gold afghan & pillow set (donated by Cookie Starr). Congratulations to winners Bob & Rose Fathauer of Mantua. Proceeds go towards furnishing the group’s “Christmas Family” with food and gifts for the entire family.
Now in it’s second year, the “Run of the Ox” 5K Run/Walk was held on Saturday morning with 98 participants despite steady showers. Coming out on top overall for the men were Steve Green, Nathan Schultz, and Nathan Green and for the women were Erin Sullivan, Rosalie Novotny, and Emily Bertram. For a complete list of placement times, visit and click on race results. A big thank you to event sponsors and donators:  Jake’s, Advanced Rehab, Compass Packaging, Giant Eagle, University Dental of Garrettsville, Inc., Kepich Ford, NC Label – North Coast Tape and Label, Coldwell Banker – Hunter Realty, Oscar Brugmann Sand and Gravel, 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, Jayda Gross, age 5 of Warren, placed third, Dmitry Hruby, age 4 of Grafton, took second, and Boe McPeak, age 5 of Kent, won the age level with her first place pull. For the 6 & 7 year olds, Hank Winland, age 6 of Mantua, accomplished third place, Roxxy Bretz, age 6 of Mantua, won second place, and Nick Rushnok, age 7 of Shalersville, beat them out for first place. The 8 & 9 year old level saw Jackson Summer, age 8 of Mantua, place third, Donald Whitehair, age 8 of Shalersville, achieve second place, and Miles Winland, age 9 of Mantua, attain first place.
Sunday’s Frog Jumping Contest was a hopping good time. Congratulations to third prize winner Matt Wright, age 4 of Shalersville, who was awarded $3.00, a stuffed frog toy, and an Ox Roast t-shirt, and to second prize winner Destiny Verbic, age 5-3/4 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 Mason Koltz, age 23 months of Medina.
Ox Roast Idol 2013—Thank you to the many singers and Chuck Casalicchio of C. C. Karoake and DJ Services for our contest this year.  Coming out on top for the annual Ox Roast Idol:  1st ($200)-Eric Perrault, 2nd ($100)-Raymond Markward, 3rd ($50)-Kandi.
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 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! New to the celebration this year was a beach-themed photo booth sponsored by the Parish Evangelization Project (PEP — the diocesan initiative for evangelization that began late last fall). Visitors had the opportunity to stop by the booth for a photo, fill out a survey, and/or sign up to volunteer for the Parish’s “Walk With Us”, a parish-wide community service day that will be held on Saturday, September 14, 1–5 p.m. For more information on this project, please contact Peg Haney at the Parish Office (330-274-2253).
Trade booths at this year’s fair included:  Pro-Life, Sears, For Rednecks By Rednecks, Super Sauce, Tupperware, Dutchie Holland / C. Harshan, Final Touch Construction, Mel’s Crafts, Bath Fitter, Streetsboro Chiropractic, Paparazzi Accessories, Ohio State Waterproofing, US Waterproofing, and Kepich Ford. Thank you to each of them for adding to the festivities.  Our generous sponsors toward the fireworks display was 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, RDP Sports Plus, Aflac Insurance, Lyle Tayerle, Independent Agent, Auto Rehab, Jon Martin, Owner, Auburn Pipe, Geauga Lake Auto Sales, Computers And More, Inc., Ferrara Electric, Commercial Roofing, Mantua Auto Parts, Lakeside Sand & Gravel, TL Service Center, F & S Automotive, Penney’s Automotive, Impressions Styling Studio, Acorn LPG (donating propane), Urban Growers (donating flowers), Sunrise Springs (donating Lemon Shake-Up water), Dr. Thomas Pesarchick, DDS (Garrettsville), AWL Transport, Osborn Landscaping, Harper Well & Pump, Cen-Pe-Co Lubricants, and Kozsay Service. 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; Kepich Ford of Garrettsville for donating the UTV for the main raffle’s second prize; 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 Oscar Brugmann Sand & Gravel, Jake’s, and Lakeside Sand & Gravel, all of Mantua; raffle ticket printing costs were covered by McGinnis Amusements; Kepich Ford and Mantua Station Drug Co. helped with flyer printing expenses; and, Acorn LPG of Ravenna provided the approximately 300 gallons of propane used throughout the weekend.
The Parish Community of St. Joseph’s looks forward to entertaining and meeting the Mantua community and beyond in 2014. Mark your calendars for the third weekend in July (that’s the 18th, 19th & 20th) for St. Joseph’s 51st 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.