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‘A last hurrah’

Ash Wednesday is around the corner, which means it’s time to get the cravings out of your system before your 40 days of fasting.

To help preempt your carbohydrate cravings, Suffolk Christian Church is hosting a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and Race on Feb. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. The menu will include pancakes, sausage, apples and a beverage. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children and $15 for families. Children younger than 3 get in free. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Rockin’ Relay for Life.

“It is a last hurrah before Lent,” said Lynn Pope, an organizer of the event. “It’s such a nice thing for the whole community to participate in.”

Historically, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lenten season, which required the faithful to fast from meat, butter, eggs and milk. Without refrigerators, families had to consume all their products; otherwise, they would go bad by Easter, which marks the end of Lent. The day before Ash Wednesday became known as Shrove Tuesday, when families would consume the last of the products from which they would fast.

To make use of burnt or rejected pancakes, there were relay races held, which Suffolk Christian Church also will hold — reminiscent of the pancake races held in England.

“It’s a relay race with a spatula or — like in England — a skillet,” Pope said. “The teams have to run with a pancake on a spatula and hand it off to their team members in one way or another. Whichever team finishes first wins.”

In past years, the supper has brought in approximately 125 pancake eaters, and organizers hope to have a good turnout this year.

“The children just love it and it’s a nice time for people to sit around, talk and have fellowship,” Pope said.