Monday, September 5, is Labor Day, and in Sunbury that means two things. Well, maybe it means more than two things to some folks, but ask any member of the Sunbury Lions Club and he or she would tell you that Labor Day means summer is over and it’s time for the Sunbury Lions Ox Roast.
In keeping with changing times, The Lions Club Ox Roast and Flea Market on the Square is now The Sunbury Lions Ox Roast and Community Festival.
For Lions club members, it begins at 8 p.m. Sunday evening when they gather at JR Smith Park where they start a fire in the ox-roast pit. About midnight, with a good bed of coals going, they put 800 pounds of beef in the pit in stages for an overnight roast.
“The Sunbury Lions has been having the Ox Roast for 74 years,” said Lion Rick Eyman. “We will also have baked beans, potato salad, Cole slaw, potato chips, pie, and soft drinks available.”
Eyman said the Lions have space for more than 100 vendors selling antiques and other collectables on historic Sunbury Village Square, and the event includes music for everyone and bounce houses for the youngsters.
The Big Walnut High School Band will perform from 10 to 10:30 a.m.; the Ohio Harmonica Association 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.; Larry Wilson & God’s Country Band from noon to 12:45 p.m.; and Tammi Knight and Friends 1:15 to 2 p.m.
The Ohio Harmonica Association will close out the day’s entertainment from 2:15 to 3 p.m.; and there will be chainsaw wood carving all day long.
“We have help on Labor Day from Big Walnut Cheerleaders, Big Walnut FFA, the high school Leo club, the Big Walnut Marching and Music Boosters and area Boy Scouts,” Eyman said.
Eyman said there is a $1 donation fee to get on the village square, children 12 and under get in free.
The Sunbury Lions Club Labor Day hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The food line is from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Eyman said 50 percent of the profits from the Sunbury Lions Club Ox Roast and Community Festival stays in the Big Walnut Local School District community; the other 50 percent will go towards supporting sight/vision programs through Lions Club International.
For additional information about the Sunbury Lions Club Ox Roast Community Festival and other Sunbury Lions Club activities go to < SunburyLionsClubofOhio.org >.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.