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Ox Roast a 9,000-pound August tradition

August 08, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Ron Hoffman will order more than 9,000 pounds of beef this month.

Needless to say, it's not all for him.

That's the amount Hoffman orders because that's about how much it takes to feed the thousands who gather for three consecutive Saturdays during the annual Greencastle Sportsman's Association Ox Roast.

"The first three Saturdays in August, that's the way it's always been," said Hoffman, order director for the roast. "We order roughly 3,000 pounds each week and it goes. We open at lunchtime and people come in for sandwiches and they'll come in and buy in bulk by the pound and half-pound."

The ox roast kicked off last Saturday, continues tomorrow and wraps up on Aug. 16 all dates rain or shine. The threat of thunderstorms may have hindered turnout during the opening weekend, but hundreds still showed for the variety of food and entertainment.

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"The crowd is pretty much steady each weekend," Hoffman said. "It might have been down a little last week, partially because of the rain, which we didn't get. Other than that, it was kind of normal."

The unique three-Saturday event helps to pay to maintain the Sportsman's Association, and the participation of volunteers helps make the event a success each year.

They call it an ox roast, but several other concessions were offered, including country ham, fresh potatoes and "all the different vegetables for soup."

Hoffman said all of the food is purchased locally and the Sportsman's Association also offers a dinner "served family-style," which includes beef, ham, potatoes, green beats, pepper slaw and several desserts.

"The dinner starts at 4 p.m. and it's in the clubhouse, which has air conditioning," Hoffman said. "Even though we might not need it."

People took advantage of the clubhouse on a humid day last Saturday. But with more comfortable temperatures expected this weekend, the entertainment areas could be more visited.

The roast offers the traditional carnival games involving goldfish, a frog launch, ring toss, darts, dimes and, of course, a dunk tank.

"Anyone can volunteer," Hoffman insisted.

There are also chances to win fruit and pie, risking only a quarter on the chance wheel, and live music is presented throughout the evening. The Incredible Driftin' Whistle Pigs performed last week, Powder Keg band will take the stage this weekend and Brushfire will play Aug. 16.

Also on the final day, a raffle is drawn from tickets sold on each of the previous Saturdays. The top winner receives $1,000 and other prizes are donated by local businesses, Hoffman said.

The Sportsman's Association is a members only club of about 1,500 people. It will celebrate its 65th anniversary next year.

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