UPDATED: Grandview Heights' Ox Roast officially axed for 2020

ALAN FROMAN
afroman@thisweeknews.com
Grandview Heights High School football players tend to the Ox Roast fire pit in this 2011 photo. The tradition will skip 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Grandview Heights Bobcat Boosters announced Aug. 16 the 2020 Ox Roast is officially canceled.

The three-day event and fundraiser originally had been scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at Pierce Field. The festival typically features food, games, rides and entertainment and culminates with the sale of about 2,000 pounds of beef on the event's last day.

The Boosters had been considering the possibility of making the Ox Roast a one-day event featuring beef sales only.

However, a message on the Boosters' Facebook page states that "after considerable consultation with local health officials and city leaders," the Boosters voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 event.

"We explored a number of scaled-down options, including just having bulk beef sales," Bobcat Boosters president Todd Horning said. "In the end, we have to factor in the health and well-being of the Boosters and others that help cook and work the event, and the risk was too great.

"The reality of trying to hold a festival like this in the midst of a pandemic with all of the new safety requirements, was simply too much," he said. "It was a difficult decision, but in the end it was a unanimous vote. It was the right thing to do for the safety of our community." 

Despite the Ox Roast's cancellation, the Boosters' budget is "in good shape," due to the success of last year's festival and the community's support for the mulch sale and golf-cart raffle the organization held earlier this year, Horning said. 

"While this is certainly a loss, we anticipate being able to meet the needs of students in Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff in the near term," he said.  

The Boosters already are turning their attention to the 2021 Ox Roast, which would be the 100th anniversary of the first festival, Horning said. 

"We'll make up for 2020 with an event that will be bigger and better than ever and something the community can be really proud of," he said.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman