East Huntington Kiwanis Club members set to serve stacks

The East Huntington Kiwanis Club will serve up stacks of flapjacks at their annual Pancake Festival.

The festival has long been a staple for the Kiwanis Club, and Huntington itself. Pancake chairman Donald S. Ewanus said the event has been running for quite some time now.

“This will be its 58th year,” Ewanus said. “We’ve had several homes, but it [the pancake festival] has been in Huntington for several years.”

This year’s festival kicks off at 7 a.m. March 18 at the New Baptist Church on 28th Street East. The festival features many amenities to tide over visitors in between bites of pancakes. This year’s festival includes a raffle, chances to win tires from Tic Toc Tire and, weather permitting, a car show held in part by Tri-State Street Rods.

Ewanus said the club started the festival for a fundraising option.

“We service a bunch of community service organizations from the Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the homeless shelter, Terrific Kids, the veterans’ organizations and we work a lot with Key Clubs,” Ewanus said. “So it’s basically to help the various service organizations we sponsor.”

This year’s funds will go towards an all-inclusive, multi-generational playground. Ewanus said the club has been involved with the playground planning for a few years now and have even more ways to raise the funds.

“We’re going to be selling bricks for folks to help sponsor the playground,” Ewanus said. “You can put whatever you want on the brick and then it will be placed in or around the playground itself.”

Ewanus said the festival requires a web of volunteers to run smoothly. Club members specifically handle the festival’s titular goods.

“Pancakes are cooked by members,” Ewanus said. “We have a member who’s been volunteering at the festival for about 49 years and then we have 48, 47, 46 and of course it goes on down. It’s an all-day affair — we start at about 5 in the morning, getting grills warmed up and getting things together. We start at 7 a.m. for the public, finish at 7 p.m. and by the time we get out of our location, it’s 10 or 11 p.m.”

Ewanus said the club typically serves around 20,000 pancakes to a crowd of “around 13,000 or better.”

The ticket will get visitors pancakes, sides and drinks. Above all, Ewanus said the festival offers a sense of friendship people don’t typically get to see on a day-to-day basis.

“It’s amazing; when you come in here during the day, during the early morning hours, basically from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m., we have a pretty substantial line and those that are coming in, those that are leaving, see a lot of friends, family, you name it,” Ewanus said. “And it’s nothing to see folks hugging each other and all of that stuff; like I said, it’s really a neat little event and it’s like a family reunion.”

Interested parties can buy tickets at several locations in Huntington, including Tic Toc Tires, Chandler’s Plywood and the Exxon/Guyandotte Food Center. Advance tickets cost $6 while tickets at the door cost $7.

Will Izzo can be contacted at [email protected].