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DeWitt Ox Roast
Thursday, Aug. 16, 3 to 10 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 17, noon to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday Aug. 18, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Main Street and Bridge Street
The ox may be gone, but the purpose remains.
“Back when this event officially started, they actually went out and got an ox and stayed up all night and roasted it,” said Dave VanArsdall, president of the Dewitt Ox Roast and Dewitt Memorial Association.
“It used to be a one-day event. We are looking to bring back something like that for the 75th anniversary, but for now there will be BBQ smoked meats and ox burgers.”
Created in the 1946, the ox roast raised funds for the memorial building dedicated to soldiers who died in WWII, VanArsdall said. “Now the ox roast is the primary fundraising event for maintaining this building.”
Ox roast festivities include a 10 ride carnival, the DeWitt Ox Roast Grand Parade, Dewitt Idol, Body Bubbles, a car show, an ice cream eating contest and a frog jumping contest.
With participants donning a round bubble suit from the waist up, Body Bubbles is like watching a human demolition derby, VanArsdall said.
“If you get knocked over, you roll over a couple times. You can get stuck like a turtle until people help push you back over.”
There will also be craft vendors and musical performances by El Kabong, Oxymorons, Redeemer Methodist Church and Exit 86.
“If there is nice weather, it is highly energetic. Usually there is a good draw and everybody loves it.”
This event showcases DeWitt to returning residents and out of towners alike, said VanArsdall.
“A lot of people have reunions take place. It is a chance for family and friends to get together in a small town environment.”
It wouldn’t be possible without community volunteers, said VanArsdall.
“I like that we are putting on an event for the community,” said VanArsdall. “We need to improve what has been done and make things better for everybody. We will make changes based on feedback, and are always looking for people to join us.”
7:30 to 10 p.m., $15, Old Town General Store, 408 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
8 to 9 p.m., Riverwalk Theatre, 228 Museum Dr.
8 to 11 p.m., Valley Court Park, 300 Valley Ct., East Lansing