IRONS — Hundreds of visitors traveled from miles around to attend the 44th annual Irons Flea Roast and Ox Market, a beloved Lake County tradition. The four-day festival, hosted by Irons Area Tourist Association at Skinner Park in Irons, features small-town festival fun.

The event kicked off on Thursday afternoon with a parade through downtown Irons and opening ceremonies with the Lake County Honor Guard raising the American flag at the flag pole in Skinner Park. Boy Scout Troop No. 61 also participated in the flag raising.

Pastor Steve Tschannen, of Irons Bible Church, said a blessing for a safe and fun event. A cannon was shot off, a tradition signaling the fun to begin.

Screams, laughs and squeals could be heard from amused youth trying out carnival rides. Contests like baseball tournaments and beanbag tournaments were included in the fun.

“We had a good crowd this year and have been really busy,” said Leonard Burton of IATA.

Many vendors were set up on the festival grounds selling jewelry, clothing, hats, kitchen items, yard sale items, blankets and other various kni12ckknacks and goods.

“It looks like everyone is having a lot of fun,” said Irons area resident Joyce Durdel. “There are more vendors and visitors this year. The IATA worked very hard to make this event great, and it is good to see people come from all over to take advantage of all that is offered.”

Live musical performances, horse pulls and fireworks over Skinner Park on Saturday night also were highlights of the event.

“The Irons Flea Roast was a great success this year. There was a large turnout and the weather was favorable,” said Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin. “Everyone from around the county came out for the festivities. There were very few issues, as everyone had a good time. I look forward to next year’s event.”