Irons Flea Roast & Ox Market returns for fun-filled weekend

IRONS — After two years of not having the Irons Flea Roast & Ox Market, the festival made a big comeback for its 46th year, drawing a lot of visitors to Irons for a weekend packed with fun for all ages.

The annual event, hosted by the Irons Area Tourist Association, kicked off Thursday afternoon with a parade through downtown Irons led by Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin. It also featured Boy Scouts Troop 61, the Lake County Honor Guard, the IATA, Lake-Osceola State Bank, the mascot Oxey, classic cars and many other entries.

After the parade, the opening ceremonies took place at Skinner Park. The announcer with IATA said this year would have marked 48 years of the festival, but they lost two years due to COVID. He thanked the volunteers who made the event possible by "hours and hours" of planning and putting everything together, as well as vendors.

During the flag raising ceremony conducted by the Lake County Honor Guard, a bugler performed "My Country Tis of Thee," and the National Anthem was sung.

To launch the festivities, a small cannon is traditionally set off. People plugged their ears to prepare for the loud boom.

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"That was louder than me," said 5-year-old Matthew Kelley, who was startled by the noise when the cannon went off.

People then enjoyed all the festival had to offer, with a lot of good sales and a wide-variety of items at the flea market, tasty food vendors, including the "festival famous" flea burger and ox burger, and a time to relax and enjoy some live music.

The festival also included a variety of  tournaments and contests for all ages, horse pulls, kids events, rides by Anderson Midway and fireworks Saturday night.  

Sunday wrapped up with a classic car show, the Flea Roast 5K race, a raffle drawing for kids bikes donated by the Fry Guy and Friends, and the super raffle.

Organizers are anticipating another great festival next summer.