Although the final day of the Grandview Heights Bobcat Boosters' annual Ox Roast was hampered by steady rain, a strong first two nights helped the cause.

"It's not our greatest year ever, but considering everything, it was a really successful festival," said Chris Everett, who served as "head ox" for the 2018 event.

The festival, held Sept. 6-8 at Pierce Field, serves as one of the major fundraisers for the boosters. The organization provides funding for scholarships and to support athletic and extracurricular programs benefitting Grandview area students.

"The rain held off Friday night, and that was actually a big night for us," Everett said. "Thursday night was about what we usually expect, but Friday night was better than usual."

The second night was helped by beer sales and the popular bingo tent as well as a strong entertainment lineup, he said.

"The League Bowlers (Friday night's entertainment headliner) really brought down the house," Everett said.

This was the third year the Ox Roast included beer sales on Friday and Saturday nights.

"The beer sales really save on a night when the weather isn't too good," Everett said. "People still like to stop by and have a beer, hang out and maybe play some bingo."

It also helped that the Grandview Heights High School football team was playing in Zanesville on Sept. 7.

"When the football team's playing out of town, our attendance numbers go up," Everett said.

Much of Saturday's entertainment lineup still was able to perform, although the headliners Blue Spectrum were canceled after the rain picked up about 6:30 p.m., entertainment chairman Pete Nichols said.

"Safety issues come first, and it just wasn't safe to continue with the show," he said. "We also weren't able to operate the rides on Saturday, again, for safety reasons."

But the bingo tent was popular Saturday night and beer sales were brisk, Nichols said.

"I think a lot of people want to support the Ox Roast and the Boosters, and even with the rain in the forecast for Saturday they still come out to show that support," Everett said.

"The way people come out and support the Ox Roast says a lot about our community," Nichols said. "All the money we raise goes to benefit the students in our community, and people want to help."

Friday night's weather cooperated -- even overnight, when booster members tended to the fire used to cook the 1,600 pounds of beef sold on the festival's last day.

Visitors still stopped by the festival site Saturday despite the rain to purchase beef sandwiches. Bulk sales also were offered.

"We basically sold out the beef on Saturday," Everett said.

"We had about 20 pounds left over (Sunday) morning, but we'll be able to sell that pretty easily," he said.

Although a final tally still is to be determined, it's likely Ox Roast revenue will be down a bit this year, Everett said.

"It's going to take a couple of weeks until we take care of all our expenses to know exactly how much money we raised at the Ox Roast," he said. "We didn't lose money, but the proceeds may not be as much as in other years."

In the spring, the group also holds a mulch sale and a door to door fund drive.

Donations to the Bobcat Boosters can be made yearround at the group's website, www.bobcatboosters.org, Everett said.

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