Scenes from the 71st Annual Ox Roast

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(Posted Sept. 7, 2022)

By Jeff Pfeil, Staff Photographer

The 71st Ox Roast was held Sept. 3-5 at Garrette Park in West Jefferson. Despite rain storms, the festival offered up a great time with plenty of entertainment, inflatables, food, crafts and eating contests. The festival ended with the serving of the famous Ox Roast sandwiches.

The West Jefferson Youth Inc. flag football cheerleaders dressed up for the Hawaiian luau-themed parade. A Saturday morning rain shower stopped just in time for the parade to step off at its scheduled time of noon.
The first eating contest of the weekend featured pie. Contestants had to eat the pie filling and crust to win the prize. Jaden Anderson was very happy to place first.
Winners of the Ox Roast Little Miss pageant are: (from left) Ireland Creamer, first attendant; Sadie Courtright, queen; and Summerlynn Martin, second attendant.
Winners of the Ox Roast Jr. Miss contest are: (from left) Natalie Winebrenner, first attendant; Emma Anderson, queen; and Madeleine Herdman, second attendant.
Winners of the Miss Ox Roast contest are: (from left) Nancy Gantner, first attendant; Carlee Blackburn, queen; and Sarah Endicott, second attendant.
The festival’s oldest and most popular eating contest is the watermelon eating contest. Here, contestants in the 8 and younger group wait for the signal to begin. Kendrick Pepper was declared the winner in this age bracket.
The West Jefferson High School Jazz Band entertains the crowd on Saturday evening, putting forth an amazing performance with only four days of school to practice for the show.
Saturday night concluded with the 2nd Annual Pie Auction. Chris Snyder and Emma and Marci Trein show off the donated homemade pies they went home with. The auction made over $1,000. The profits will benefit the Senior Citizens Christmas Party hosted each December by the West Jefferson Community Association which also hosts the Ox Roast.
Santino Carnevale, one of the festival’s student coordinators, helps to set up the Ox Roast Drive Thru in preparation for Monday sales of sandwiches.
The Ox Roast pit, 120 feet long and 4 feet deep, is dug then filled with wood each year on Sunday morning for the pit lighting. Despite a rain shower right before the lighting, the fire was lit only a few minutes late to begin the process of making a bed of coals to roast 3,000 pounds of beef to make the Ox Roast sandwiches on Monday.
The inflatable rides this year included a foam machine which proved to be very popular with children of all ages.
Louisiana Grill staff members cook up chicken for their popular bourbon chicken.
Marshall Jacob is all business as he competes in the kiddie tractor pull. He won his division after a pull-off with a second pull of 26 feet 3 inches.
West Jefferson Mayor and Ox Roast Trustee Ray Martin hands an Ox Roast sandwich to Rick Morasse who is originally from Canada. Morasse has lived in Columbus for about 10 years and had heard about the Ox Roast and the sandwiches. He wanted to come out to try them.
Miss Ox Roast Queens Taylor Sibbalds Patterson (2009), Becky Schalip (1969) and Mardi Barthelomew (2017) met up on the Ox Roast grounds on Monday afternoon.
Lydiah Powell goes for a big bite in the ice cream eating contest. She placed second in the female division of the contest.

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