By BARBARA JENSEN

Executive Director

Senior Center

of Finney County

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday is the traditional day of celebration before the severe restrictions of Lent. The preparing and eating of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is a tradition which began in the United Kingdom. Pancake tossing, racing and stacking are still popular. One of the most famous is the competition between Olney, Buckinghamshire, England and our own Liberal, Kansas. It is a race for women only. An apron and head-covering are required. The course is 415 yards and the pancake must be tossed at least three times during the race. The winner receives a kiss from the Ringer of the Pancake Bell and a prayer book from the local vicar.

This year, Garden City will have a Mardi Gras pancake celebration on Tuesday. Games will begin at 4 p.m., with a pancake race obstacle course, pancake flipping contests and pancake stacking contests. Come try your luck with these events. The races will be followed by bingo for prizes. Finishing off the celebration will be a pancake and sausage supper at 6 p.m. with entertainment. There will be a free-will donation for supper.

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple (symbolic of justice), green (symbolic of faith) and gold (symbolic of power). Join us for a colorful, fun-filled late afternoon of activities and good food.

Scheduled activities

Thursday: TOPS meet at 8:30 a.m., followed by the art class at 10 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., learn the fine art of iris folding.

Friday: Line Dancing starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by STEPS at 10 a.m. Check in and out at the Craft Shop begins at 10 a.m. St. Catherine Hospital has a nurse available from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for blood pressure checks, blood sugar checks and other consulting. Bridge is played in the afternoon.

Saturday: The pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday: Duplicate bridge begins at 2 p.m.

Monday: Stretching exercises are at 8:30 a.m. STEPS begin at 10 a.m. Humdinger Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:45 p.m. The RSVP Board of Directors will meet at 1:10 p.m. The Transit Committee meets at 2 p.m. in the FIT Center. The Upbeats begin practice at 3 p.m. The deadline to purchase your Prairie Land Food Box is 4 p.m. Duplicate bridge is at 7 p.m.

Tuesday (Mardi Gras): Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. The Finney County Senior Citizens Association board meeting is at 2 p.m. The Finney County Committee on Aging, the board of directors for the Senior Center, will have its monthly meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the FIT Center. Mardi Gras fun begins at 4 p.m. Join in these activities. Games, bingo, prizes, and a pancake and sausage supper are planned. Bridge is played at 7 p.m. Open pool starts at 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 17: Line dancing starts at 8:30 p.m. STEPS begin at 10 a.m. An attorney with Kansas Legal Services will be available by appointment beginning at 10 a.m. Call 272-3620 for an appointment. The library will have books available at 11 a.m. Completely Unraveled meets at 1 p.m. The dance begins at 7:30 p.m. and will feature Craig Stevens.

Note: The computer lab and pool room are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, plums, wheat roll.

Friday: Chili or beef stew, peas, tossed salad, crackers, cinnamon roll.

Monday: Grilled chicken and rice, California veggies, wheat roll, cinnamon apple slices.

Tuesday: Roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, harvest beets, fruit muffin, tropical fruit salad.

Feb. 17: Baked fish or chicken patty, scalloped corn, stewed tomatoes, poke cake.

Check out the Senior Center Web site at www.seniorcenterfc.com.