This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique festivals, events, and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of the Mansfield area. We call these “Summer Road Trips.” One of the perks of living in north central Ohio is its proximity to world-class entertainment, sporting opportunities, and more.
Of course, we want to share that there are many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County this summer and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.
This week’s trip idea is one that suggests that for a trip back in time, it helps to have a healthy appetite.
It’s a mouthful, both in name and in food! The Mesopotamia Volunteer Fireman’s Association presents the 46th Annual Ox Roast Antiques and Flea Market on July 5, 6, and 7.
This free festival features incredible things to eat and see, highlighted by its traditional, “famous” roast beef sandwiches, which are served with fries and beverages after 10 AM each day. Organizers say that they sell over 5,000 sandwiches, 18,000 bottles of pop, and 5,700 pounds of meat in one weekend. It takes a full eight hours to cook a day’s food.
Also included are over 160 dealers and live entertainment, with three solid days of family-friendly music from bands with names like “Chardon Polka Band,” “Family Dog,” “Jungle Terry,” and “Mosquito Creek Band.”
The event is hosted by and supports the Mesopotamia Fireman’s Association, which started with a single truck in 1977 and has grown each year with the addition of great volunteers and equipment to face the challenges of a small rural fire department. The department responds to both fire and medical emergencies.
There is free admission and free parking for the festival, which is at the intersection of State Routes 534 and 87 in the heart of town.
It’s an easy drive from Richland County on I-71 to I-80 to State Route 534. While in town, visit the extraordinary End of the Commons General Store, recognized as one of the oldest in the country. Established in 1840, it has been serving the local Amish community and features bulk flour, popcorn, candy, meat, and antiques. Visitors remark on the store’s well-known “fry pies.”