NSU’s Alumni Pavilion and Tailgate area was the place for a great breakfast and family fun Saturday, October 7 as the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club held its annual Pancake Festival, Mile Run and 5-K Race. Kiwanis has been a feature on the Natchitoches civic scene since 1946. The race is a relatively recent addition to the long-standing annual pancake breakfast. The Kiwanians served up several hundred pancake and sausage breakfasts to a hungry crowd of over 150 runners, as well as family members and supporters. Sparky the Fire Dog and the Natchitoches SWAT truck also made an appearance. Kiwanis District Governor John Fry and his wife Cathy visited from Tennessee.
This year’s race contained a colorful twist from last year that added to the fun. St Mary’s cheerleaders and volleyball team lined the first few feet of the racecourse and set off bursts of color for the runners to pass through. The LSMSA Film Club was on hand to record the event and cheer on Natchitoches’ Jacob Hypes, a junior at the school, as he ran the 5k race. There were also inflatables for children to play in and face painting.
The races were not the only competition however! The event is well known for its Celebrity Pancake Flipping Contest in which local notables compete to show off their pancake flipping skills. This year’s rivaly featured returning champion Mayor Ronnie Williams facing off against Miss Merry Christmas Victoria Wiggins and Natchitoches Fire Chief John Wynn. The mayor’s pancake related magic deserted him this year as he was eliminated in the first round. Fire Chief Wynn narrowly defeated Ms. Wiggins to win this year’s Golden Spatula Award.
The event was a fun way to raise money for a serious cause. The members of the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club are part of an international organization of civic-minded people in Clubs all over the world. The Natchitoches Kiwanis sponsors the well-known “Terrific Kids” program recognizing outstanding students in the parish as well as K-Kids, Builders and Key Clubs in area schools.
The Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast and 5k Run is the main fundraiser held each year to support these worthy efforts.