St Joseph’s 55th Annual Ox Roast Fair
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St. Joseph’s most visible and locally famous fund raising event is the Annual Ox Roast Fair, which is held the third full weekend in July. Started in 1964 by Fr. John Wirtz (Associate Pastor under Fr. Hughes) to help pay for the new school, the Ox Roast Fair now directly supports the educational and sacramental ministries of St. Joseph Parish. This event utilizes the energy and talents of literally hundreds of parishioners and friends from the Mantua area. Except for the carnival rides and games, part of the tractor pull events, and security, the booths & events are operated by St. Joseph volunteer families & friends. Along with the pastor, the Ox Roast Fair Core Group is the primary planning & steering committee which coordinates the efforts of the Ox Roast Fair and guides the overall direction of the Fair. Of course, that famous Ox Roast beef has always been a part of the Ox Roast Fair. Up to 3,500 pounds of sirloin roasts are prepared in brick-lined pits which are heated several days before the fair with a constantly burning fire. The beef is prepared, wrapped in unbleached muslin & netting, and placed in the fiery coals, covered over, and cooked for several hours until done to perfection. The result is a delicious, slow-cooked beef sandwich, dinner, or Ox Roast sundae with mashed potatoes that melts in your mouth!
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