“Eat-it, Buy-it, Love-it!” is the anthem of the 26th annual Ramona Junior Fair Pie Auction and Barbecue taking place Saturday, July 9, at the Ramona Junior Fairgrounds.
All are invited to what promises to be a sumptuous barbecue dinner provided by Specialty Meats of Escondido. Diners will have a choice of barbecue beef, pork or turkey with beans and side dishes. Children 12 and younger may eat for $5 and adults for $7.
The barbecue will begin at 4 p.m., with the pie auction scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Although it was unknown when the Sentinel went to press who will receive the annual “Pie in the Face” honor, there is no mystery that there will be numerous pies and desserts up for auction.
“I’ve even heard a rumor,” shared longtime fair hand Crissy Tobiason, “that the Dreyer cheesecake and Toth cookies may make a return. That’s kind of a big deal at this event!”
The famous Dreyer cheesecake has been known to bring a bid as high as $2,500 while the Toth cookies have gone for up to $900.
“It used to be a battle between the 4-H clubs to be the winning bid for the cheesecake with the Ramona Stars and Paisanos being the biggest competitors,” said Tobiason. “The clubs would pool their resources in order to outbid each other. The winner would divvy up the cheesecake and eat it in front of the other club. Just a friendly challenge!”
The annual Pie Auction and Barbecue is the primary fundraiser for the Ramona Junior Fair. Proceeds help with the various costs needed to host the fair including judges’ fees, electricity, water and other operating expenses.
During the evening, 4-H members take on the role of auction ring men as each treat comes up for bid. Levi Gassaway will return from Northern California to lead buyers through the bidding wars as he has done every year since he was “thrown“ into the auctioneer role as a Ramona 4-H‘er. The story goes that the scheduled auctioneer was late and, rather than holding up the show, Gassaway was “persuaded” to act as official auctioneer. Whether that moment had anything to do with his future or not, Gassaway is now a professional livestock auctioneer in Stockton, Calif.
“Even if you don’t buy anything, live auctions are a great show,“ said Tobiason. “Of everything that goes on in Ramona, the pie auction is my favorite. It’s low key, allows families to spend time together, and it helps the youth of Ramona.”
The Pie Auction and Barbecue are the warmup event for the actual Ramona Junior Fair, which kicks off July 30 and runs through Aug. 6, the day of the Junior Livestock Auction.
All activities are at Ramona Junior Fairgrounds at 431 Aqua Lane.