MARIETTA - A lack of parking spaces on Front Street and a seemingly endless line of people in the First Congregational Church in Marietta Friday evening meant one thing: The Marietta Kiwanis Club's Pancake Days had kicked off.
Many of those in attendance said it's a tradition for them to partake in the event. For Marietta resident Margaret Groves, that tradition began about 50 years ago, when she was working at Uncle Bob Food King in Marietta.
"The boss - Mr. (Glenn) Weber - always bought our tickets and sent us over for lunch," said Groves, 86, who worked at the grocery store for 38 years. "I love the pancakes and all the people."
The 57th annual Pancake Days event, which continues today, is the Marietta Kiwanis Club's biggest fundraiser, drawing almost 2,000 people each year and raising about $20,000 for area groups and projects such as high school Key Clubs and public library programs.
The event began with lunch and dinner sessions Friday. Hundreds of people attended in the evening, but Louise Holmes, president of the club, said it wasn't quite as busy earlier in the day.
"I thought it was a little slower this morning ... but I think people will wait until (Saturday) when they can bring their families, because a lot of people work," she said. "But we had 50 takeouts first thing this morning."
Photo by Ashley Hill
From left, Jane Barnhouse, her daughter, Jonna, and Jonna’s son, McCoy, gather around a table at the First Congregational Church in Marietta during the Kiwanis Pancake Days event Friday evening. The two-day event draws almost 2,000 people annually.
While pancakes and sausage filled people's plates Friday evening, dozens of gift baskets to be auctioned - filled with everything from Legos to gift certificates for local businesses- lined the walls.
Club president-elect and event co-chairwoman Sarah Drake said some of the items being auctioned off are worth hundreds of dollars, including a clock donated by Baker & Baker Jewelers valued at $600.
"A lot of the money we get is from the silent auction," she said.
Veto resident Janine Satterfield has been lucky enough to win a few of the gift baskets over the years, including a St. Patrick's Day-themed basket and a Cinco de Mayo-themed basket.
"I like that it's a good organization and they do good things with the money," she said. "I like the baskets in addition to the food, and you see people you know (at the event)."