Second Annual Pancake Race

Friday, February 19, 2010
Photos by Paul Struck, Mike Leckband and Vanessa Reusch

On a frigid Tuesday Feb. 16, 2010, the second annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race took place in Cherokee. According to race organizer J.C. Cook, in England many years ago the tradition was established for housewives to use the food ingredients that they would otherwise stop using during Lent on "Shrove Tuesday" and to use those ingredients to make pancakes. The custom evolved into a Shrove Tuesday race which is still conducted in Olney, England to this day. The race includes women who wear a dress, an apron, and a head scarf, all carrying a pan with a pancake. At the start of the race, all runners must flip their pancake, then run the 415-yard course, winding through town and ending at the church where they must again flip their pancake to finish. The racers then enter the church, place their pans in front of the sanctuary, and a brief "Shriving Service" is conducted with recognition given to the runners at this time.