SCARBOROUGH’S traditional pancake races promise a new twist and a new venue this year – as a change from its previous location in Aberdeen Walk.
Organisers have promised it will be a combination of Strictly Come Dancing and It’s A Knockout when the event moves to its new location in St Helen’s Square near to the Market Hall.
Under a new format, winning will not be everything with judges now looking at skill and style rather than which team crosses the finishing line first.
Judges will even be keeping their eyes peeled for the best fancy dress outfit on next month’s Pancake Day – Tuesday March 8, which will also see the ever-popular skipping on Scarborough’s seafront.
Scarborough Council investment team Nick Taylor and Mary Turnbull have taken over the organisational duties for the pancake races and they hope the switch in location will raise awareness of the retail appeal of the Market Hall and Vaults and Old Town in general.
Nick said: “Part of our remit is to promote and invigorate the Market Hall and Vaults. To help achieve this, we are trying to take as many activities as we can to the area around the Market Hall.
“The pancake races have become a very popular event in Scarborough’s calendar. The ringing of the pancake bell is a custom that dates back many years and I hope as many people as possible will take time out of their day to either take part in the races, or simply come and watch the fun.”
The races which feature a series of tasks and obstacles are due to begin at 12.15pm and will be preceded by the traditional ringing of the pancake bell on the junction of Westborough and North Street at noon.
Competitors only need to provide a frying pan and a willing partner as the pancakes are provided by students from Yorkshire Coast College’s catering department.
There is no entry fee to take part, though a donation on the day to St Catherine’s Hospice would be appreciated.
The format of the races will see one competitor set off from St Helen’s Square, flipping their pancakes at various points along Market Street, before they hand the pan and pancake to their partner who will make the journey back to the start.
Teams will be scored on their fancy dress, pancake flipping technique and amount of pancake actually left in the frying pan at the end of the relay, as well as overall skill and style.
Competitors not opting to run in fancy dress will have to impress judges with other qualities – though speed will not be one of them.
Each team which takes part is asked to wear something which identifies them with the company, shop, or organisation they represent, such as a sash, logo or A4 sign pinned to their costume, so that spectators and judges can clearly identify who is taking part.
A panel of four judges is being lined up who will each give marks out of 10 to the competing teams and the team with the highest overall score will be the winner.
In the event of a tie-break the teams will negotiate the course a second time to find a winner.
For details of how to enter contact Nick Taylor or Mary Turnbull on (01723) 232440.