Congressman Steny Hoyer Has Roasted More Than 20 Bulls for His Birthday

Recently, he’s switched to hamburger.

National Journal
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Sarah Mimms
June 9, 2014, 7:32 a.m.

House Demo­crat­ic Whip Steny Hoy­er turns 75 this week­end and, like he does every year, he’s host­ing a “bull roast” for sup­port­ers and state politi­cians.

That’s right: a bull roast.

Be­gin­ning in 1980, Hoy­er cel­eb­rated his birth­day by roast­ing a bull over an open-pit fire. The House’s second-rank­ing Demo­crat cooked up a “steam­ship round,” con­sist­ing of most of the rear flank of the an­im­al, which typ­ic­ally weighs about 60 pounds. The meat is thinly sliced, slathered in bar­be­cue sauce and eaten over bread.

It’s a Mary­land tra­di­tion, com­par­able to craw­fish boils along the Gulf Coast or a clam­bake in New Eng­land. (You can read more about the bull-roast tra­di­tion in this ex­cel­lent Bal­timore Sun art­icle).

If you’re already rev­ving your en­gines to head to Mitchellville, Md., for this year’s roast, however, you might be dis­ap­poin­ted. In the early 2000s, Hoy­er switched from a true bull roast to ham­burgers and chick­en. Or­gan­izers de­cided something a little more fa­mil­i­ar would “be more pop­u­lar” with sup­port­ers, Hoy­er spokes­wo­man Mar­i­el Saez said.

There will still be beer, ice-cream sundaes, a DJ and, of course, cake to keep Mary­land Demo­crats and loc­al sup­port­ers happy. The state’s con­gres­sion­al del­eg­a­tion and Lieu­ten­ant Gov. An­thony Brown, who is run­ning for gov­ernor this year, and oth­ers are ex­pec­ted to at­tend.

“It’s a great way, you know ahead of the primary and gen­er­al [elec­tion], to bring people to­geth­er,” Saez said.