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Long-standing tradition

Annual 4-H Ox Roast scheduled for July 23

Submitted photo Makayla Amos shows off the sandwiches the day of the Ox Roast in 2019.

BEVERLY — A long-standing tradition in Randolph County will be a bit different this year, but the opportunity to have a great meal will remain.

The annual Ox Roast is set for July 23 to help raise money to support 4-H Camp Pioneer.

“It is a fantastic meal,” organizer Dawn Swecker said. “The meal will be cooked the same way.”

The tradition began in 1963 and each year 4-H alumni and supporters gather at Camp Pioneer near Beverly to have a meal and view 4-H project exhibits. This year, however, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing guidelines, and the high cost of beef, the annual fundraiser has been “reimagined.”

The event is set for Thursday, July 23 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Inter-Mountain file photo Volunteers prepare for the annual Ox Roast at Camp Pioneer in Beverly in 2019, using newspapers donated by The Inter-Mountain to help start the fire.

The biggest change this year will be the change from beef in the “Ox” sandwiches. Swecker said increased prices necessitated the change to pulled pork. The pork roasts will still be slowly cooked all night in the same deep-pit process that has traditionally been used.

“We decided to go with this because it was more in line with what we could afford,” she said. “The funding helps to keep the cost of camp low for 4-H members. It also helps to maintain facilities used by the community, such as the walking trail, and pond area.”

Another change for the year is the meal will be drive-thru only. Swecker said traditionally folks use the event to explore the 4-H camp and to socialize, but the change had to be made due to social distancing guidelines.

Attendees in their vehicles will be guided through a line, entering near the church parking lot on Mt. Vernon Road. Pre-packaged meals will be delivered to cars by 4-H members and volunteers. For those that would like to enjoy 4-H Camp Pioneer outdoors, socially distant picnic tables will be set up at lower camp in the field in front of the barns.

Since the Ox Roast will be drive-thru only this year, 4-H projects will not be displayed. The 4-H members have still worked hard on their projects and a community announcement on how their work will be displayed is forthcoming, officials said.

One meal option, priced at $12, will include two deep-pit roasted pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw, cookies and bottled water.

Tickets may still be purchased prior to the Ox Roast at the following sites around Randolph County: Southern States, Randolph County Senior Center, and the WVU Extension Office in Elkins; Bobbies in Beverly, and Liggett’s Supply in Mill Creek.

This year, tickets may also be purchased by credit card by calling the WVU Extension Service at 304-636-2455. While it is best to get your ticket prior to the event, tickets will be available the day of the event, as supplies last.

“4-H members and volunteers have and will continue to ‘Make the Best Better’ for the youth of Randolph County,” a press release states. “While 2020 has certainly thrown the program some curveballs, the leaders and members have taken it in stride with a positive attitude. The WVU Extension Service has offered several take-home activities such as science experiments and potato-in-a-bag growing kits from March through May as well as a take-home and virtual 4-H camp option in June.”

Those unable to attend the Ox Roast this year are asked to consider a donation to help the camp. Information on how to donate is available by calling the WVU Extension Service at 304-636-2455.

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