The Haywood Cattlemen’s Association is gearing up for its annual summer beef roast — a full-course dinner featuring top round roasts perfectly seasoned and cooked through the night.
The 5 to 8 p.m. event will be held on Saturday, July 14, at Tuscola High School.
The annual beef roast in a highlight for many beef lovers in the county — up to 2,000 some years — who never miss the chance to get their fix of the all-you-can-eat beef dinner that includes a special sauce, slaw, beans, a roll, a drink and dessert.
The annual event generally attracts a crowd of 1,400 to 1,600, with some years bringing in up to 2,000 beef-lovers.
There is plenty of seating at Tuscola High School where the event has diners not only in the cafeteria, but in the large gathering area between the gymnasium and cafeteria, as well as outdoor tables. Those who prefer to simply take the dinner home to eat on their own back porch can go through the take-out line where all is packaged and ready to go other than a drink choice.
The special seasoning that covers all sides of each roast before it is double-wrapped in foil for the overnight cooking stint, contains 12 different spices. The special seasoning was developed the first time the event was held.
This year, Neal Stamey, who has helped prepare a batch of the seasoning ever since the event started decades ago, will be assisted by Kyle Miller this year, who is president of the local cattle organization.
Lore has it that the spice mix is so special there is no one person who knows the entire recipe. Each of the spice mixers is given six spices and the quantities to bring to the mixing event. While Stamey is always on hand, the second man has changed several times, so it is theoretically possible that the recipe has escaped.
Ethan Henderson, the Haywood Extension Service livestock agent, said all the proceeds from the event are donated to support youth livestock events, including a scholarship program.
Tickets are $12 at the gate, but can be purchased for $10 each in advance
from any Haywood Cattlemen’s Association member, at The Mountaineer, 220 N. Main St., Waynesville, or at the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Office at 589 Raccoon Road in Waynesville.