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Feast on Pancakes and Be Serenaded with Jazz

Photo Provided The Community Made Serenade ensemble will delight visitors to the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at Christ United Methodist Church in Wheeling on Feb. 25.

WHEELING — Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 25, is celebrated around the globe as a day for feasting on pancakes. In some cities, like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 25, will be the culmination of weeks of celebrations leading up to Mardi Gras – the last day of “fat eating” before the penitential 40 days of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday.

Christ United Methodist Church at 1232 National Road in Wheeling invites area residents to join the international celebration of Shrove Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 25 and feast on pancakes while being serenaded with jazz.

Cultural celebrations of the last day before Lent vary greatly. In Spain, Italy, Slovenia and South America, Shrove Tuesday features large carnival parades and masquerade balls. Reflecting their likelihood of being blanketed with snow during all possible Shrove Tuesday dates between Feb 3 and March 9, the Finland’s Fat Tuesday menu includes green pea soup and a sweet bread filled with whipped cream and jam or almond paste, followed by downhill sledding activities. Many communities in the United States celebrate Fat Tuesday with paczki (doughnuts) or pancakes-using up the sugar, eggs, and fat before Lenten fasting begins.

Evidence of British Anglican communities eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday dates back to the 16th century. Shrove Tuesday customs remind Christians to prepare for the 40 days of Lent by confessing their sins and considering what they might give up or amend as part of a spiritual growth focus for Lent.

As a result, Shrove Tuesday celebrations involve eating pancakes and other foods made with butter, eggs and fat that traditionally would be given up during the Lenten season.

Enhancing the regional Fat Tuesday pancake supper tradition, Christ United Methodist Church adds live music performed by the Community Made Serenade ensemble to the pancake menu. Under the leadership of jazz musician Matt Hill, the Community Made Serenade and Dream Big Music Players will perform Mardi Gras style jazz at the Christ United Methodist Church’s Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. While listening to “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and other popular jazz tunes, attendees at the pancake supper will be served buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, sausage, applesauce, and coffee, tea, or lemonade.

With funding from Try This West Virginia and assistance from Christ United Methodist Church, the Community Made Serenade program gives amateur musicians of all ages opportunities to play music together. This program welcomes advanced beginners to proficient performers.

The Community Made Serenade music program is a drop-in music program open to all Wheeling area residents. Those interested in joining the Community Made Serenade players can contact Laurie Ruberg, organizer of the community music performance project at lfruberg@gmail.com.

Ruberg explains, “We’re hoping youth and adults who love to play instrumental music will join us.”

For more information about the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, call Christ United Methodist Church at 304-242-2455 or email lfruberg@gmail.com.

The cost for the pancake supper is $5 per person (children under 12, $2.50). All proceeds from this event will go to support the Dream Big Music Ed non-profit program and The House of the Carpenter, serving the needy in the greater Wheeling area.

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