Monday, Sept. 7, is Labor Day, and in Sunbury that means at least two things.
Maybe it means more than two things, 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, this year’s Lions Club ox roast and flea market on the Square has a new look and name: It’s now the Sunbury Lions Ox Roast and Community Festival.
For Lions Club members, it’s an overnighter that begins at 8 p.m. Sunday when they gather at JR Smith Park to 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 72 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 150 vendors to sell antiques and other collectibles, and the event includes music, bounce houses and face painting.
“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. “The Big Walnut marching band will play on Sunbury Square around 9:30 a.m., then the Ohio Harmonica Association will play for a few hours – and there will be other music.”
Eyman said there is a $1 donation fee to get on village square, children 12 and under get in free.
The Sunbury Lions Club Labor Day hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Eyman said 50 percent of the profits from the event stays in the Big Walnut Local School District community; the other 50 percent will go towards supporting sight and vision programs through Lions Club International.
For more information about the ox roast and other Sunbury Lions Club activities, go to SunburyLionsClubofOhio.org.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093