For more than 70 years, Long Beach's Naples neighborhood has hosted an annual pancake breakfast that brings people together — and it's going to happen again Saturday.
“It started originally just to get the neighbors together to meet each other and hang out and have pancakes," Kim Bergkvist, breakfast chair, said. "It's since evolved into a craft fair and a fun run. It's gotten a lot bigger."
The event serves nearly 1,000 guests each year. Plates include pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee and orange juice, and the cost per plate is the same as last year at just $6 for adults and $3 for youngsters 3 and younger. All proceeds benefit the Naples Improvement Association for organizers to use toward neighborhood beautification projects all year long.
"Everything you see from cleaning up neighborhoods to repainting benches, that's what the funds are used for and more," Bergkvist said.
Bergkvist has been the event's breakfast chair for the last 10 years, she said, adding that this may be her last breakfast event as an organizer.
"The breakfast is affordable and does a lot of good for the neighborhood, but I've been doing this for so long that I could do it in my sleep," Bergkvist said. "I'm ready to pass the baton to someone else who's just as passionate about Naples."
While she's still acting as chair, planning for Saturday's event was business as usual for Bergkvist.
In addition to the breakfast, the morning will host a number of other events and family-centered activities. Naples's Fun Run covers a 2.7-mile loop around Naples Island. All ages are welcome to participate.
The Fun Run check in is at 7:45 a.m. at a table set up at the end of The Colonnade. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. The cost for the run is $5.
There also are a number of vendors on hand, including a booth selling the annual Naples T-shirt.
The 72nd annual Naples Pancake Breakfast is happening from 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, at The Colonnade Park, 61 The Naples Island Colonnade.
Raffle tickets also can be purchased with prizes provided by surrounding businesses, including Naples Rib Company, Kihon Sushi, Michael's On Naples, Valentino's Pizza, Nico's Restaurant, Independent Pilates, Prodigy Plumbing an 9Round Kickboxing.The breakfast Fun Run is happening during breakfast time from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The starting line will be marked at The Colonnade.
Cash and checks will be accepted for the breakfast and fun run and some vendors may take cards.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at email@example.com.