Sticky fingers and faces, smiling neighbors and friends and a whole lot of pancakes - yes, it's Pancake Days again.
The annual event to benefit the Kiwanis Club programs has been feeding hundreds of people for more than half a century and there is no slowing the event down this year, especially given the warmer than normal winter.
"Two years ago we had a lot of snow and we almost considered canceling," said Ann Hontz, president-elect of Kiwanis and co-chair of this year's event.
Photos submitted by Ann Hontz
Kiwanis Club member Rick Peoples flips pancakes at last year’s Pancake Days while other volunteers help out in the kitchen.
The forecast for Friday and Saturday is calling for temperatures in the 50s and a slight chance of rain Saturday afternoon.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m and 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the First Congregational Church, 318 Front St., Marietta.
The mild weather and enticing thought of maple syrup-drenched pancakes may bring more people out to the event to top last year's 1,700 attendees.
If you go
What: 58th annual Pancake Days.
When: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m and 5 to 7 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Where: First Congregational Church, 318 Front St., Marietta.
Cost: $5 in advance at Peoples News in Marietta, The Marietta Times or from any Kiwanis member; $6 at the door; children younger than 5 eat free.
Details: All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, orange slices and beverage. A silent auction and raffle will be held both days.
For information: Contact Linda Eddy at 373-9205 or Ann Hontz at 373-1364.
"We really hope a lot of people will come out," said Hontz. "All the money we make from this event goes back into the community."
The event typically brings in $20,000 for the group. Some of the projects aided by Kiwanis include landscaping at Marietta High School and Marietta Middle School, the Terrific Kids Program at Harmar Elementary and Bringing Up Grades (B.U.G. program) at Phillips Elementary and building a picnic shelter off Gilman Avenue near the Marietta College boathouse.
Typically 240 pounds of pancake mix, 200 pounds of sausage and 414 pounds of syrup are used during the two-day event. Around 40 volunteers help to make sure the event goes off without a hitch, including Kiwanians, Key Club members from Marietta High School, Circle K from Marietta College and the Builders Club at Marietta Middle School.
Aside from all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage and beverages, much of which is purchased by Kiwanis, along with donations from Broughton's, the raffle of baskets and silent auction are really popular ways to bring in money.
"I think last year the baskets brought in about $7,000," said Hontz.
Included this year are Hello Kitty, Smurfs, West Virginia University, entertainment, wine and golf-themed baskets, to name a few. Tickets will be 50 cents a piece or five for $2. Higher ticket items include a Kindle Fire, a mini shopping cart full of grocery-related items, an Ohio State University basket and several gift certificates and gift cards to area eateries. Tickets for these items will be $1 each or six for $5, according to Linda Eddy, club secretary and basket organizer.
"We will have roughly 100 to 150 baskets," Eddy said, adding that putting the baskets together takes a lot of work and is usually a year-long process.
Keeping the cost of the event down is important to the club, Eddy said.
"This is a family event and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it," she said.