Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Down home weekend: Louisiana Pancake Festival

Redo of Steisand hit: “People, people who love pancakes .  . . are the happiest people in the worrrrrrrld!”
Our weekend with youngest son Jeremy and his family included a 63-year tradition and another tradition of more recent vintage.

Tradition #1--Saturday, Oct. 20, the Downtown Baton Rouge Kiwanis Pancake Festival served up food and fun for the 63rd consecutive year. The festival included a hearty breakfast of pancakes and sausage links. Since enjoying them at the festival, those Manda Party Links are now my favorite product produced by Manda Fine Meats.

The company is a long-standing enterprise started by daughter-in-law Katie’s great grandfather and his brothers. Son Jeremy is now also in sales in the family business of producing and supplying smoked sausage products and other Louisiana-flavored meats--a major food group in the diets of Louisianians and many Mississippians.

For many years, Manda produced that particular sausage link variety once a year for the pancake festival only. Recently they have started offering them as an official item in their product line. Now I just have to convince some market locally to start supplying my new breakfast addiction. I am sure son Jeremy will help me in that endeavor.

Tradition #2—Dancing in the festival talent contest. In the 63rd edition of the festival’s traditional amateur talent competition, Katie and Jeremy’s four-year-old, our granddaughter Molly Kate, followed in her mom’s dance shoes. She danced  a “Fashionista Princess” solo. Katie was pre-school age when she first competed at the pancake festival, too.

Mom and daughter confer on final preparations.

Mom was a bit stressed. “I am not cut out to be a dance mom,” Katie said as she unpacked dance-mom tools: hairbrush, makeup, costume and accessories. Molly Kate seemed calm early on, but Katie was nervous until the Division I (Pre-school through Third Grade) segment of the talent show was over and Molly Kate and her fellow performers exited stage right.

Molly Kate loves that she gets to wear “real makeup” to perform. And she made sure she posed her hands so that my photo below would show the pink fingernail polish that her mother had applied for the little fashionista.
Almost ready to dance

In her pink tutu Molly Kate lines up with other Division 1 competitors.

A bit of nerves before her performance produced tears, but when her turn came, she was eager to dance and didn’t miss a move of her number. She took third place.
An escaping balloon trumped the awards ceremony in the intensity level among the tiny performers.

Molly Kate loved sharing the awards stage with two friends from her dance studio. But she was also excited to meet the bewigged songbird who sang the Shirley Temple classic “The Good Ship Lollipop.” Molly Kate’s admiration of her fellow performer made me wonder if our little dancer will want to add singing to her performance next year.

Besides the talent show, the festival included an art contest for school-aged artists, face and fingernail painting, music, clean down-home humor and fast-paced recognition for the work of staff and volunteers from a number of community non-profits that the Kiwanis support.

We were scheduled to babysit little grandson Walker while the rest of his family scattered for the next obligations on a full day’s schedule.

Babysitting equals quality Walker time.

When the rest of the tribe returned home, the siblings tag-teamed Hubby and me, AKA Baboo and Nana, vying for attention. It was a great close to a wonderful day.


  1. i love pancakes, bob made them for me this morning. so a festival like this would be wonderful and all that talent to watch. the rollers did a good job on her hair. i wore my hair like that from birth to 11 years old. thanks for sharing

  2. Oh the fun of sharing in the grandkid's lives. Darling dance outfit. Glad she got over her tears to do her routine. So cute!!

  3. What a great festival! Love it! Cute pics of the grandkids, too.

  4. What a delightful community tradition.
    Your little sweethearts made it even more special.
    I love the cherub look on Molly Kate face.
    Grandkids just light up my life and I can see that they do to you too.

  5. What a great and perfect day. I bet you slept well that night.

  6. Pancakes and sausage bring back fun memories of the past! Ed and I used to enjoy them each year at the local fair.

    Molly Kate has grown into a beautiful little lady, and I know you were so proud of her solo performance at the festival!

    It's amazing how big grandson, Walker, has become! (His eyes remind me of our grandson, Chase.) It's fun watching your little ones grow up. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Well, despite Walker's dislike of being photographed you got a good photo. What a good grandmother you are to sit through all the dances and other events. Of course I sat through many a piano or dance recital for many years myself. it all goes by too fast. Dianne

  8. That all sounds like fun. Well, except for the stressed out momma and the baby tears. So much pressure!!