New attractions keep Ox Roast fresh
By Kevin Dye
The 62nd West Jefferson Ox Roast has a few new attractions and several activities to keep folks entertained this Labor Day weekend.
The Ox Roast kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 1, with the annual Ox Roast parade at noon with the theme of Pirates of the Seas. Parade awards will be given out directly after the parade at the grandstand.
Ox Roast organizers have added a new attraction for the young and old alike with the Jungle Island Petting Zoo. The petting zoo will feature such animals as kookaburras, kangaroos, Burmese pythons, fox and camel.
If live entertainment is more to your liking, the festival has a wide array of musicians lined up for the weekend. Among the acts that will be performing are That Band at 5 p.m. and Newmania at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; The Posse at 5 p.m. and Kory Adams at 8:30 p.m. Sunday; and Music Men of London (on the grounds) at 12:30 p.m. and Blues Fury at 3 p.m. Monday.
Open Mic at the grandstand at 5:30 p.m. Sunday allows anyone to take the stage and try his or her hand at performing in front of an audience. This event replaces the Ox Roast Idol contests from past year’s festivals.
“Open Mic is taking the place of last year’s Musical Showcase and Ox Roast Idol,” organizer Jeff Pfeil said. “This is straight entertainment with no contests or prizes. It is a chance to perform in front of a crowd and highlight your talent.”
Speaking of the old Ox Roast Idol contest, Michelle Martin will perform at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the grandstand.
Martin was the winner of the statewide Ohio Idol contest this summer.
What would any festival be without royalty contests? The traditional Ox Roast Queen contests start at 5 p.m. on Saturday, with the Little Miss, Jr. Miss and Miss Ox Roast representatives being crowned that evening. The Oxy Baby and Oxy Sweethearts contest will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday.
There are two eating contests this year with the Watermelon Eating contest starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday and the new Ice Cream Eating contest taking place at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Another event for children is the Kiddie Tractor Pull that will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Sandwich Serving Shelter House on the grounds.
For those who appreciate antique automobiles, the Jefferson Township Fire Department will hold their annual Axes and Axles Car Show on Monday, with registration starting at 8 a.m. Awards will be given out at 3 p.m.
Finally, the fire pit will be uncovered early Monday and the serving of the Ox Roast sandwiches will start at noon. The tickets for the sandwiches will go on sale starting at 11:30 a.m. Monday.
The Ox Roast festival is organized by the members and volunteers of the West Jefferson Community Association. The nonprofit organization uses all of its funds to help fund their many community charitable activities. There are almost 30 such activities such as the annual Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner, Jefferson Local School scholarships, Halloween Costume Contest, Ox Roast Queens Dinner and the Christmas in the Park festival. You can get more information on the group’s activities and a complete schedule of events by visiting www.westjeffoxroast.com.