By Regina Elling
Imagine a barbecue dinner with your choice of deep-pitted pork, beef or turkey meat. Dinner is followed by the best homemade desserts Ramona has to offer. And the grand finale? Some unsuspecting town hero receives a pie—in the face!
Everyone comes out ahead in the “Winner! Winner! Pie & Dinner” barbecue and pie auction, an annual town tradition. The event is the major fundraiser for the Ramona Junior Fair.
“The money the kids raise from the barbecue and pie auction helps us put on the Junior Fair,” explains Crissy Tobiason, pie auction coordinator. “The money earned goes into our general fund and is used throughout the year for our operating budget and activities. We also have to pay for repairs to the facilities, for the judges, the auctioneers and all the key people that make the fair work. We also have some fun activities for the kids as well.”
The money is also used for scholarships for the participating youth.
“Last year, we gave out six for $1,000 and one for $1,500,” said Tobiason. “It’s a very important part of our fundraising.”
The pies, cakes, cookies, jams, muffins, candy, ice cream, bread, salsas and more—all homemade by the youth—are up for grabs in a live auction, where anything can happen.
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, July 14.
“Squirrel poop pie, the Stipp éclairs and the Toth cookies—which brought in $3,000 last year—will all be back on the auction block,” Tobiason said.
If you don’t start drooling at the mention of squirrel poop pie, you simply haven’t been to enough junior fair pie auctions. And if you have, then you know that just desserts are always followed by a pie in the face for someone, often someone well known around town.
This year’s recipient of the pie face plant hasn’t yet been selected.
“We don’t know yet who is getting the pie, so it will be a surprise,” Tobiason said.
All you have to do to get in on the fun is show up.
“Don’t be shy,” said Tobiason. “Everyone is welcome; the more, the merrier.”
Since the event is a live auction, she said, it’s fun for everyone.
“If you haven’t ever been to a live auction, this is the one for you to go to. The little kids all run and play and have a great time. Meanwhile the parents and other adults can sit and visit and enjoy a beautiful day in the shade, under fans. This is a community event for everyone to enjoy.”
Activities will begin at 4 p.m. with the barbecue dinner.
“Diners have their choice of meats, all cooked by Specialty Meats Butcher Shop and Full Service Deli of Escondido,” said Tobiason. “The main dishes feature Jon Donnais’ homemade barbecue sauce. The Fair Committee makes all the sides, which include beans, potato salad and cole slaw and rolls, all served by the youngsters. It’s always delicious.”
Everyone is hungry for dessert by the time the pie auction begins at 6 p.m. And this year, the auction may be a bit more heartfelt.
“Our live auction is handled by Levi Gassaway. This year, he is getting married on the Friday before the auction. The couple will be celebrating their first married day together at the barbecue and pie auction, at his wife’s request,” she says. “So if you’ve ever been involved in the auction before, or even if you haven’t, let’s make the fundraising worth the trip for Levi and Lauren.”
The event will be at the Ramona Junior Fairgrounds, 431 Aqua Lane. Cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Dinner will be from 4 to 7 p.m., with the pie auction starting at 6.
For more information, visit www.ramonajuniorfair.com or contact Crissy Tobiason at 951-809-6486.
The Ramona Junior Fair livestock show is set for July 28 – August 5. The Ramona Junior Fair is organized and operated totally through volunteer efforts by community leaders, and participating 4-H, FFA and Grange clubs. The Ramona Country Fair is set for July 26--29.