DEWITT, Mich. (WLNS) — As soon as the gates opened for the 77th annual Dewitt Ox Roast, hundreds got in line for tickets.

Phil Schertzing has many memories through the years of coming to this event.

“We used to do daycare for our grandkids about 20-some years ago. So we would bring them to the DeWitt Ox Roast. Now we have a great-grandson, 4 years old, and so we’re repeating the cycle all over again here,” said Schertzing.

The festival started off Saturday with a parade. Businesses from the community had the opportunity to highlight what they do.

“It’s so much fun to be in the parade and it’s even more fun when the crowd is cheering for you and all that stuff,” said Ella Joldersma, a dancer from Ann’s School of Dance.

Eden Alvera, a dancer from Ann’s School of Dance, said there was a sense of unity.

“You see the little kids dancing with you. It’s so cool to feel like everyone is coming together as one,” said Alvera.

Rides, prizes, food trucks and even a frog-jumping competition were just a few of the events at the festival.

“There are a lot of people who used to live in DeWitt coming back, almost like a homecoming. And a lot of folks that have moved into DeWitt in recent years that are embracing the community spirit. so it’s a big crowd every year, it seems like,” said Schertzing.

Collin Schafer grew up coming to the Ox Roast. Today he brought a first-timer with him.

“She’s definitely having an elephant ear and then she’s getting on the gravitron over behind me, 100 percent. She’s never seen that before. They do it a little big around here,” said Schafer.

The Ox Roast goes until 11 Saturday night, then starts again for its final day, Sunday morning at 9 until 3 p.m.