WASHINGTON (Friday, February 24, 2017) Washington National Cathedral will celebrate Shrove Tuesday (informally known as “Mardi Gras”) with its annual Pancake Races, except this year we’re using waffles! This year’s races will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., preceded by a three-day “Waffle Madness” promotion at Open City Café at the National Cathedral. Proceeds from “Waffle Madness” will support the Cathedral Scholars college preparatory program.

In years past, the Cathedral’s Shrove Tuesday races have used pancakes instead of waffles. Why the change?

  • In an age of #AlternativeFacts, we’re going with #AlternativePancakes.
  • The institution isn’t afraid of change.
  • The Cathedral doesn’t believe they have to be “pancake normative.”
  • Two words: Nutella Waffle.
  • Flipping waffles presents more of an aerodynamic challenge than flipping pancakes.
  • Mostly, the switch is due to a partnership with Open City Café, and their generosity in supporting our Cathedral Scholars Program … and their apparent lack of a pancake griddle.

This is the only event of its kind in Washington celebrating the British tradition of “Pancake Day” and marking the last day of frivolity before the beginning of Lent.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Feb. 25-27) leading up to the race, Open City Café will feature a “Waffle Madness” bracket competition, pitting the eight types of waffles offered in the café against each other in a “March Madness” inspired tournament. The winning waffle will be announced during the Waffle Races on Tuesday. Proceeds from Tuesday’s sales of that winning waffle will go to benefit the Cathedral Scholars Program, a three-year college preparatory program for underserved D.C. high school students with a 100 percent college acceptance rate.

Racers will include Cathedral Dean Randy Hollerith, teams from St. Albans, National Cathedral School for Girls, Beauvoir, Cathedral stone masons and many others. They will compete in races in the central nave of the Cathedral, while flipping waffles as they compete for the coveted Golden Skillet trophy.

All are welcome to attend. Media are invited to capture this colorful photo opportunity and encouraged to list this event on community calendars.

News media wishing to cover the Waffle Races at the Cathedral should contact Natalie Longwell at West End Strategy Team at (202) 776-7700 or via email at [email protected]

WHAT: Shrove Tuesday Waffle Races
WHEN: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Central Nave

CONTACT: Natalie Longwell, West End Strategy Team • (202) 776-7700 • [email protected]