MESOPOTAMIA, Ohio (WKBN) — Thousands of people are expected to visit Mesopotamia this weekend for the annual Ox Roast.

The Ox Roast kicked off Friday morning in the center of town. It includes an antiques and flea market with more than 160 vendors and live entertainment plus the renowned roast beef sandwiches.

The Mesopotamia Volunteer Firemen’s Association has hosted the Ox Roast for almost 50 years.

Throughout the weekend, firefighters will be cooking 5,800 pounds of beef. You can even have a chance to win a round of the meat.

Money raised helps the volunteer department operate.

“It funds our department. I mean, we just bought a new truck with no government grants or anything so I mean we’re a fully functioning fire department because of the community,” said firefighter Tyler Miller.

The event typically brings in a little more than $100,000 for the department. About 20,000 people attend the Ox Roast each day.

It runs through Sunday.