CORDRY-SWEETWATER — The Cordry-Sweetwater Ox Roast is a bit of a misnomer.
There’s no ox roasting, and the event isn’t just for Cordry-Sweewater lakes residents.
The big event Labor Day weekend is a fundraiser for the Cordry-Sweewater Lot Owners Association, and everybody is invited to enjoy all it has to offer, whether they live at the lakes or not.
Activities this year will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at the CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road.
On the schedule are dinners of barbecue, hot dogs, fries, onion rings, green beans, slaw, pies and drinks; vendor and craft tents; live entertainment; games for kids and a silent auction.
The ox roast — in its 57th year — benefits the lot owners association, a nonprofit with the mission of improving the overall quality of life in the Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District.
The CSLOA’s projects include the clubhouse for use by residents, a lakes branch of the Brown County Public Library, July fireworks, a chili cookoff, concert on the beach, Memorial Day bike parade, Santa’s workshop and more.
In early years, the event attracted thousands of people for white elephant sales, art exhibits, clowns, rides in a covered wagon and plenty of food, according to newspaper clippings from the ’60s. “Y’all come,” the writers of those stories encouraged.
In 1970s, a “prize beef spitted over charcoal” was one of the main events, plus a square dance exhibition and boutique selling items crafted by the ladies auxiliary.
Proceeds in the past have helped to build and remodel the clubhouse and support the fire department and ambulance service.
The name was changed for a few years to the Fall Roundup in the late ’70s, but returned to its historical Ox Roast origins — just as some guests do every year.
“Many of our former residents and families return for this particular event as a homecoming,” wrote CSLOA Secretary Loretta Trusty in a 1974 preview of the event. “Whether you think of it as the Ox Roast or the Fall Roundup, we have a big program ready to go.”