Pancake Day

A volunteer cooks pancakes for attendees in this file photo. This year’s Pancake Day celebration has been canceled.

CENTERVILLE — There will be no free pancakes, parades or pageants on the Centerville square this fall.

For the first time in its 72 year history, organizers have canceled Pancake Day.

The Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce said they would be postponing the event until the last Saturday in September 2021. They cited COVID-19 as the reason.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, it’s become clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we need to make tough choices,” said the chamber’s press release, sent Tuesday afternoon.

Pancake Day was started in 1949 by Centerville merchants as a way to show their gratitude to local patrons. It has since morphed into a yearly celebration that features free pancakes, entertainment, a Miss Pancake Day queen pageant and a large parade.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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