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Families steeped in ox roast tradition

September 05, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • Jaiden Glenn, 5, assists Frank Culler during his magic act Sunday at the Quincy (Pa.) Ox Roast.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

QUINCY, Pa. -- "N43 ... O67 ... B10 ... We've got bingo."

Approaching the Quincy Ox Roast on Sunday, visitors could hear the calls of a bingo announcer and smell the roasted meat. They could see swirls of steam rising from the slow roasters when the cooks lifted a metal lid to reveal 1,000 pounds of beef.

The community festival, which is in its 76th year, might engage the senses, but it's also relaxing. That's one of the things its organizers like best.

"It has always been that way," Molly Gossert said.

Her husband, Donald, oversees the preparation of 2,800 pounds of meat for the four-day event. The ox roast concludes Monday with breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., soup and sandwiches starting at 11 a.m., and a family-style dinner from noon to 5 p.m.

From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the ox roast committee will host a community yard sale, which Alexandra Kline said should be a highlight for visitors.

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Alexandra is the Gosserts' 15-year-old granddaughter. She remembers riding ponies and exploring the ox roast grounds when she was younger, then helping at the dime pitch and other games as she got older. Now, she assists in the kitchen.

"A lot of us are neighbors or family related," Molly Gossert said of the volunteers. "We always joke that when someone marries into the family, they marry into the ox roast."

The event raises money for youth sports teams, Scouts and utility bills for the community's streetlights.

"I just enjoy it, and I like to help the community," said Peach Heckman of Duffield, Pa.

She and her son, Gary Jr., had several sandwiches and french fries packaged for takeout. Peach Heckman said she tries to stop by the ox roast every year she is in town.

Betty Long and Charles Bless of Chambersburg, Pa., said the ox roast serves as an end-of-summer tradition.

"It's one of the last things of the season. We enjoy it and want to get out before it gets cold," Long said.

When asked how many years he's been coming to the event, Bless thought for a moment.

"Oh my," he said. "It's been 30 years, maybe."




What: 76th Quincy Ox Roast

When: The kitchen opens Monday at 7:30 a.m. A family-style ox roast dinner will be held from noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Quincy Ox Roast grounds off Pa. 997 north of Waynesboro, Pa. Note: The Pa. 997 bridge at Nunnery Road is closed.

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