Each Labor Day weekend for at least five decades, Donny Gossert has cooked large quantities of beef as a fundraiser for his community.
He will return to the roasters this morning to start 200 pounds of meat for the 78th annual Quincy Ox Roast. By the event’s end, more than 2,200 pounds of top ground will have been prepared.
A seemingly reasonable assumption could be that Gossert would not have an appetite for the beef after all this time. However, he still enjoys sampling pieces as the food steam cooks.
Gossert will be just one of thousands eating at the ox roast from Friday through Monday. Funds raised are used for the community’s street lights as well as facilities used by Boy Scouts, youth football players and girls’ softball.
Quincy Community Ox Roast Association board member Bill Geesaman said the organization recently purchased a field adjacent to its land.
“We’re trying to make it a park-like atmosphere for a lot of kids,” he said.
The ox roast’s success comes from a combination of the food and entertainment, Geesaman said.
On Friday, the ox roast will have 5-cent bingo, pony rides, a clown, an antique tractor show and performances by Big Cam & The Lifters.
On Saturday, the 22nd annual “CRUZZZ NIGHT” car show will be held along with 5-cent bingo. The clown and pony rides will return, and entertainment will be by The Rock & Roll Relics.
Sunday features sales of the popular beef corn soup. There will be an all-Ford car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., youth football games, 5-cent bingo, a magic show, a peanut scramble and cake walk, and entertainment by Boro Boogie Pickers and Twin Hill Express.
On Monday, a community yard sale will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Five-cent bingo and pony rides return. Performances are scheduled for Key Largo and Take Two, Russ & Donna.
Monday includes the family-style ox roast dinner from noon to 3 p.m., or until food runs out.
“We’ll have that dinner no matter what,” Geesaman said, saying the indoors event will not be affected by inclement weather.
Geesaman, 69, believes he first went to the ox roast at age 7 or 8.
“It was an exciting time. ... Back at that time, there weren’t as many community events,” he said.
He thinks first-time visitors to the ox roast will have a similar experience.
“I think they’ll be amazed at the food,” Geesaman said.
If you go ...
What: 78th annual Quincy Ox Roast
When: Kitchen opens at 5 p.m. today, 4 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday, and 7:30 a.m. Monday for breakfast and at 11 a.m. Monday for soup and sandwiches
Where: Pa. 997 north of Waynesboro, Pa.
Free admission and parking