Ready to roast: Beefed-up fest starts Sept. 10

Boosters’ biggest annual fundraiser will offer, as usual, a ton of meat

Grandview Heights City Schools Superintendent Andy Culp tees off on the first hole at Raymond Memorial Golf Course in Columbus during the Bobcat Boosters golf outing Saturday, Aug. 29. The outing is one of four yearly fundraisers for the Boosters, but the biggest is next weekend’s Ox Roast.

By ALAN FROMAN Wednesday September 2, 2015 11:29 AM

If a member of the Bobcat Boosters tells you the organization will sell a ton of beef at its annual Ox Roast, it’s not just an expression.

“We prepare 2,000 pounds of beef and almost always sell all of it in sandwiches or bulk sales,” said Jason Jump, who as Boosters vice president serves as “head ox” of this year’s festival.

The Ox Roast will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Sept. 10, 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 11 and noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 12 at Pierce Field.

The beef sale takes place on the fest’s final day, with the meat cooked over an open pit at the park.

“The pit-lighting ceremony is a great tradition in Grandview,” Jump said. “It’s really an extension of the home football game Grandview will be playing that night against North Union.”

Following the game, a procession led by the Grandview Heights High School cheerleaders, marching band and football team makes its way to Pierce Field, where the football team captains light the pit.

During the night, 250 pallets will be burned, creating the charcoal used to cook the beef, Jump said.

“We usually have three or four Boosters who stay all night to tend the fire,” he said.

Plenty of other food will be available throughout the festival, including the traditional fish fry Sept. 11, Jump said.

“We’re trying something new on Thursday night when we’ll be featuring wings,” he said.

A daily lineup of entertainment mostly will feature local talent, Jump said.

Zoe Wenk Band and 5 Star Groove will highlight the fest’s first day; on Sept. 11, the lineup includes the Jolly Steppers, High Point Road and the Poor House Rockers prior to the pit-lighting ceremony.

On Sept. 12, the entertainment will begin at 1 p.m. and will include a new feature: a dunk-tank auction at 1:30 p.m.

“It should be a lot of fun,” Jump said. “We’ll have a number of local Grandview celebrities who will be standing on stage and people will be able to bid for the chance to dunk them in the tank.”

The targets are expected to include high school Principal Ken Chaffin, football coach Jason Peters, high school math teacher and golf coach Kevin Richards, Chief Academic Officer Jamie Lusher and Superintendent Andy Culp, he said.

One feature that won’t return to this year’s festival is the poker tent.

“The number of participants has been going down since Columbus got the Hollywood Casino,” Jump said.

There will be a bingo tent and games for young and old, including those run by each of the high school classes, he said.

“We’ll also have rides for little kids and older kids,” Jump said. “On Saturday, we’ll have a special on the little-kids rides. You can buy a wristband for $12 that will give you unlimited rides on the little-kid rides from noon to 5 p.m.”

The Ox Roast is one of the Boosters’ four annual fundraisers, along with a mulch sale, fund drive and a golf outing, which was held Saturday, Aug. 29, at Raymond Memorial Golf Course.

The Boosters support extracurricular activities and programs that benefit Grandview students, Jump said.

“We used to be focused solely on athletics, but there are a variety of programs we support now, not just sports,” he said.

Most recently, the Boosters donated $57,500 toward the expansion of the health and wellness center at the high school.