Ticketholders for the 2020 Hastings Kiwanis Pancake Day, which was postponed from its original date on March 17, should hang onto their tickets for several more months, then bring them along and come hungry on March 16, 2021.
That’s the word this week from the Hastings Noon Kiwanis Club’s board of directors, which voted to stop trying to reschedule the popular event in this calendar year due to continuing uncertainty over public health and related restrictions.
The 2020 Pancake Day had been planned for St. Patrick’s Day on the Adams County Fairgrounds but had to be pushed off due to the encroaching novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
Greg Schultz, Kiwanis club president, said members had consulted with the fairgrounds staff and officials of the South Heartland District Health Department and had been unable to figure out when such a large event could take place in the next few months without posing a risk for spreading COVID-19.
The state of Nebraska continues to impose directed health measures aimed at thwarting the spread of the viral infection.
Kiwanians normally serve 2,000 or more meals on Pancake Day — a tradition dating back to 1953. The menu includes pancakes, sausage and a drink, and customers may find themselves standing in a long line for their food, especially at peak traffic times around breakfast, lunch and suppertime.
Schultz encourages everyone who bought tickets for the 2020 event to tuck them away somewhere, remember where they are and present them at the March 2021 event already on the fairgrounds schedule, as they will be honored at that time.
And for those who already have lost track of those tickets or lose them in the coming months, Schultz said, never fear: Just come to Pancake Day, explain that you had bought tickets a year ago, and you won’t leave hungry.
“We’re looking forward to seeing everybody again,” Schultz said. “Hopefully we won’t have any restrictions by then.”
For the Hastings Kiwanians, Pancake Day is the major fundraiser of the year, generating revenue the club can apply to all manner of worthy causes.
This year, the club has been raising money to supply musical playground sets at all Hastings elementary schools. Fortunately, Schultz said, that project got a major boost from donors on Give Hastings Day in May, and all the playground sets will be installed this summer.
“Our Kiwanis club is very grateful for all the support we get from Hastings and the surrounding area,” he said.