By Regina Elling
“Oh man, all that stuff is so awesome.”
“I just love those chocolate chip cookies. They are the best.”
“It’s the pie. I just can’t resist a good pie.”
Those comments and more came from individuals in a crowd of nearly 500 on a hot July night. The event was the Ramona Junior Livestock Fair Annual Barbecue and Pie Auction.
This 10-pound pie brought top dollar. Sentinel photo/Regina Elling
And as the sun began to fall over the Junior Fairgrounds at Aqua Lane on Saturday, expectations began to rise.
Many guests had arrived to support the youth involved in the Ramona Junior Fair by purchasing a dinner. Consisting of salads and other side dishes made by the youngsters themselves, the main attraction of the meal was the barbecue.
Buyers could have their choice of beef, pork, or light or dark turkey meat piled high on paper plates. And the kids didn’t mind if guests asked for some of each, as plates sagging under the weight of it all testified.
But dessert was a whole ‘nother story. The meal included no sweets — those were all for sale, covering tabletop after tabletop nearby. Levi Gassaway, former Ramona 4-H’er who arrives from out of state each year to participate, auctioned off the tasty treats. It was not lost on the crowd that he and his wife, Lauren, spent their first anniversary in Ramona, supporting the event last year.
Patrick Osio is “honored” as recipient of this year's Pie in the Face award. Sentinel photo/Regina Elling
A healthy dose of friendly rivalry accompanied a generous community spirit at this year’s event. Whether the bidders were parents, local business owners, community-minded individuals or even curious out-of-towners, everyone was quickly reminded of just how different this auction really was.
The first item up for bid was a plate of cookies that fetched $145. That set the stage for the many high bids to follow. With plates of cupcakes routinely selling for more than $100, pies for more than $200, and even a basket filled with a variety of brittle garnering $400, many fair officials felt that this year’s bidders were especially generous.
One of the highlights each year is the Pie in the Face, an “award” given to a community member who has gone above and beyond to help the youth. This year’s winner is Patrick Osio, from Ramona Disposal Service. Crissy Tobiason described him as “Always willing to do whatever it takes to help the kids.”
Afterward, when he had cleaned up and changed shirts, Osio said, laughing, “It was totally worth it. And that pie was good!”
And at the end of the night, all the hard work the youths spent preparing for the event was worth it. The pie auction generated $22,185 for the Junior Fair; another $1,144 came from the barbecue dinner. Last year’s total was $17,500.
Ramona Junior Fair Barbecue and Pie Auction is held about two weeks before the Ramona Junior Fair and
Bidders eye the treats on the pie auction table. Sentinel photo/Regina Elling
Livestock Auction, set this year from July 27 through Aug. 4, at the Ramona Junior Fairgrounds, 431 Aqua Lane. The Junior Fair is organized and operated totally through the volunteer efforts of community leaders and participating 4-H, FFA and Grange clubs.
It took two Junior Fair volunteers to show this large basket, filled with numerous items, to the crowd. Sentinel photo/Regina EllingBehind the scenes, it is the work of volunteers, from left, Barbara Pedlow, Lynne Kotas and Carol Roe that keep the bids and items accounted for. Sentinel photo/Regina Elling