'Great Pancake Day Race' Tuesday

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The "Pancake Race" tradition in Olney, England (see photo) - an annual pre-Lenten celebration - has endured since the 1800s. On Feb. 24, 2009, it will become a reality in Cherokee, Iowa, too. File photo

The St. Paul's United Methodist Sunday School class is coordinating "The Great Pancake Day Race" in Cherokee scheduled for Tuesday February 24, the day before Ash Wednesday.

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 race includes women who wear a dress, and 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 "Great Pancake Day Race" planned for Cherokee begins with the race organizing in City Hall parking lot at 5:30 p.m. and ends with a fund-raising pancake dinner at St. Paul's, with net proceeds benefiting our two community food pantries.

Race participants are limited to women age 18 or older. The race is open to the public. Pans and pancakes will be provided. Age, gender, and running garb rules will be strictly enforced. It's tradition.

The race officials have been announced: Starter is Pastor Ethan Saylor of Memorial Presbyterian Church, Official Timer is Pastor Jim Steen of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Toss Master is Pastor Larry Ostercamp of Meriden Evangelical Church, Finish Line Judge is Father Armand Bertrand of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and Supervising Vicar is Pastor Magrey DeVega of St. Paul's United Methodist Church.

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