QUINCY, Pa. — Molly Gossert laughs when asked how long she's been helping with the Quincy Ox Roast.
"Not 77 years," she said Wednesday morning as she and her husband, Don Gossert, supervised the unloading of a skid of Bender's Potatoes.
The Quincy Ox Roast, however, has been around for nearly eight decades and kicks off its 77th year Friday at 5 p.m. at the Ox Roast grounds off Pa. 997, a few miles north of Waynesboro, Pa.
The annual Labor Day weekend event features the famous Ox Roast burgers and tons of other good food, but also includes music, car shows, bingo, a magic show, a cake walk, a yard sale and craft fair.
Molly Gossert hasn't been around for all those 77 years, but she said she has been helping for 60 years. One of the organizers of the event, Gossert said she started as a child, washing dishes with her grandmother, Annie Geesaman, when the event was held in Benedict's Woods behind the Twin Kiss restaurant off Pa. 997 and Manheim Road.
Gossert said all china dishes and metal silverware were used back then. Now, food is served on Styrofoam, but the event is about much more than eating.
Friday's highlights include the kitchen opening at 5 p.m., 5-cent bingo at 7 p.m., a balloon clown from 7 to 9 p.m. and The Rock and Roll Relics playing shows at 8 and 9:30 p.m.
Saturday's highlights include the kitchen opening at 4 p.m., the 21st annual all-car Cruzzz Night from 4 to 7:30 p.m., and Big Cam and the Lifters playing shows at 8 and 9:30 p.m.
Sunday's highlights include the kitchen opening at 11 a.m., an all-Ford car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Quincy Panthers and Waynesboro Stallions clashing in midget football action from 12:30 to 4 p.m., the Incredible Driftin' Whistle Pigs playing shows from 1 to 4 p.m., and Twin Hill Express playing shows at 7 and 8:30 p.m.
Monday features the kitchen opening at 7:30 a.m., with breakfast served until 10:30 a.m., a community yard sale and craft tables from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., a family-style ox roast dinner from noon to 3 p.m., and performances by Take Two, Russ and Donna from noon to 2 p.m. and by The Boro Boogie Pickers from 4 to 7 p.m.
Admission is free.
Gossert said putting on the Ox Roast is a lot of work and new helpers are always welcome. Work for this year's event started in early August.
Don Gossert, who is the head cook, will start cooking the first 200 pounds of beef early Friday. Don and his crew will cook more than a ton of beef by Labor Day, Molly Gossert said.
All proceeds go to the Quincy Ox Roast Association, which uses the money to pay the bills for the streets lights in Quincy — the reason the event was started 77 years, according to Molly Gossert. The group, which is run by a board of directors, also supports other community groups and activities.
"We are very receptive to community needs," she said. "We've helped a lot of organizations over the years."