Around Town

Stacks of pancakes await patrons July 11

WESTFIELD-Now in its 42nd year, the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce will once again host its popular summer tradition – the annual pancake breakfast.

“Keeping with tradition, the pancake breakfast is conducted on a Thursday,” said Kate Phelon, executive director. “When the breakfast first started, it was always tied into the popular sidewalk sales days that were conducted downtown to promote businesses.”

Kate Phelon, executive director, Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, and Virginia Schwarzenbach, administrative assistant, showcase the banner that will be among those hung throughout the city soon announcing the annual pancake breakfast.

For those of us who remember the days of Antoinette’s, Newberry’s, Eaton’s, Conner’s and so many other downtown shops, the sidewalk sales days were also a time to meet up with neighbors and enjoy the festive atmosphere that was created as hundreds would walk up and down Elm Street throughout the day into early evening, checking out the shop windows and exchanging pleasantries with the store employees.

“The breakfast originally was conducted on the Green with the fountain as a backdrop,” said Phelon, adding that once the Park Square Green received a makeover, a new location was needed for the breakfast. 

The Westfield Middle School on West Silver Street will once again be the setting for the pancake breakfast, slated July 11 from 7 – 11 a.m. The event will be conducted rain or shine.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors ages 62 and older, and kids under 10 are $3. The menu includes pancakes with syrup, sausage, orange or apple juice, coffee, and a bottle of water.

Last year close to 700 area residents attended the event, consuming 130 pounds of sausage and 30 pounds of pancake batter. Phelon is hopeful that with exceptional weather a goal of 1,000 patrons can be reached next month.

“The Chamber has an events committee that includes folks from the original Spark Plugs group,” said Phelon, adding, “The volunteers are amazing and handle every aspect of the breakfast from working the griddle to mixing the batter.”

Phelon also credits the smooth flow of the event to members of the New Life Christian Center who also help with setting up and breaking down the tables, helping seniors with their plates, and helping vendors with their table displays. 

“The church volunteers, including the youth group, also make balloon sculptures for the kids, and do whatever needs to be done,” said Phelon. “We are so appreciative of their time.”

As part of reaching a 1,000 mark goal, Phelon said she is hopeful that sponsorships can be sold so that tickets can be distributed to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield, the YMCA of Greater Westfield, and the Westfield Middle School summer program.

“We need three sponsorships of $500 each to ensure we can serve up to 300 youth,” said Phelon.

For children attending the breakfast, Staples will once again provide a pencil case filled with crayons and a placemat will be available to color.

For tickets or more information, call the Chamber office weekdays at (413) 568-1618. Tickets will also be available at the event.

Entertainment during the morning will include a live broadcast by WSKB 89.5 FM, as well as a  Vendor Bingo game encouraging breakfast patrons to visit each of the vendors to have their bingo card stamped. One winner from all of the bingo entries will receive a $75 gift card to use at the Shortstop Bar & Grill.

“The pancake breakfast is a great community event that brings businesses and residents together,” said Phelon, adding that sharing a nice meal outside and also engaging the many vendors who will have table displays showcasing their products and services, is a nice way to spend a summer morning.

At press time, sponsors include the Amelia Park Ice Arena, Armbrook Village, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, BusinessWest, New Life Christian Center, Polish National Credit Union, Staples, Stateline Propane, LLC, Appalachian Press, Puffer Printing, and The American Inn.

“Our banners will soon be up around the city and we encourage everyone to spend a morning making great connections and networking,” said Phelon.

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