The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 28, 2013

Harpersfield annual beef roast a success despite weather

HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — Rain and thunder didn’t stop the Harpersfield Fire Department from a beef-eating, lemonade-drinking, raffle-ticket-buying good time.

Event director Julie Henry said the flooding and troubles caused by the pre-event downpour only hindered sandwich sales by a slim margin and she is thankful for the die-hard ox roast fans for braving the waters to munch on the sandwiches.

“I really have to say, we have some die-hard fans out there that they would come out and celebrate the roast with us no matter what,” she said.

Heavy rains the day before and the first night of the roast flooded the Harpersfield Community Center building and grounds, forcing crews of firefighters and their families to grab mops, buckets and pickup trucks to help clean up the mess.

“Nothing was ruined, but it was a mess,” Henry said.

All in all, sales were only slightly down this year from last year, she said.

“We didn’t sell out of sandwiches this year,” she said, “but we came close and a whole lot closer than I thought we would come given the weather.”

While the final numbers aren’t in yet, Henry called the roast a success and said the money from the event will  support the renovation of the fire bays and quarters of the new Harpersfield Township administration building on Harpersfield Road.

There was no beef left over from the roast, either, she said.

“We sold it all,” Henry said. “Not all as sandwiches, but people did buy the leftover meat after the roast, so we sold all 4,800 pounds of it.”

The festival was supported by the Harpersfield Fire Department Auxiliary, the Harpersfield Ruritans and community volunteers, and Henry said every volunteer put in their best to make the roast possible.

“We had to work on the parking, we had to put down gravel in places,” she said. “The rain made everything more difficult and everyone just put in that extra effort to make it happen. I have to thank everyone, but especially our firefighters and their families. Sometimes it takes a challenge like that to bring everyone together.”

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