No ox roast at this year’s Harvest Festival

August 4, 2013


SCOTTVILLE — A 100-year tradition appears to have come to an end in Scottville. The popular ox roast, which dates back to 1910, will not happen this year, the first time since it was suspended during World War II. The removal of the ox roast is not the only change.

The Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce organizes the Scottville Harvest Festival and it has requested the Scottville city commission approve street closures for Saturday, Sept. 14. Traditionally the festival has required street closures for Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the festival.

Also missing from this year’s agenda is the carnival. The festival committee has struggled with the carnival issue the past few years. Because of the shortness of the festival – traditionally three days – and the time of year, it’s been a challenge to hire a quality carnival. A few years ago the chamber received many complaints about the carnival, so it chose not to have one the following year. That decision brought several complaints as well and the carnival was brought back.

The ox roast began as a celebration of the paving of the streets in Scottville and pre-dates the Harvest Festival. Since that time the two events have become intertwined. For many years the free ox roast was seen as a way for the downtown merchants to thank the town’s residents and patrons.

Some events that are back this year include the Saturday grand parade (beginning at 2 p.m. this year instead of 1 p.m.), a quilt show at the Scottville Area Senior Center, a softball tournament at McPhail Field, tractor pulls at the Western Michigan Old Engine Club show grounds, the queen and princess competitions and the entertainment tent, among other events.

New this year will be a free family-friendly outdoor movie Thursday night at the bandshell, sponsored by Mason County Press and WMOM radio.

MCP will follow-up on the reasons behind the ox roast and carnival changes.

Scottville City Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. at city hall. At that time it will consider the street closure requests.


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