A handful of area residents will skip lunch today and meet at Cafe Polonia tonight to take part in a no holds barred paczki-eating pig-out in support of the city's Boys and Girls Club.
In recognition of Fat Tuesday 2013, Cafe Polonia and Coffee Time Bake Shop will host their second annual Paczki eating contest tonight at 6:30 p.m. The event will once again be a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Salem.
Click the video attached to this post for a look at some of last year's brave competitors.
Prizes include $100 in cash as well as gift certificates to Cafe Polonia, Coffee Time Bake Shop and Mud Puddle Toys for the kids category.
Paczki, pronounced (poonch-kee) are traditional Polish doughnuts consumed on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of lent in the Catholic calendar.
The doughnuts are filled with sweet fillings such as prunes, strawberries or blueberries and topped with powdered sugar or icing. The Paczki eating tradition has become popular in the US especially in regions with a sizable Polish-American population, such as Salem.
"We have been making paczki for years and will continue making them every day until Easter," Robert Liani, proprietor of Coffee Time Bake Shop said.
Liani plans to make hundreds of paczki with various fillings for the event.
"Most people don't usually do anything special on Fat Tuesday and we thought it would be fun to start a new tradition here in Salem," said Cafe Polonia co-owner Darek Barcikowski. "In addition, we are supporting our local community and educating people about the richness of our and other cultures represented in Salem."
There is a voluntary $10 contest entry fee for adults and $5 for children.
All funds raised from contest entry fees as well as 20% of all sales for the day at Cafe Polonia and Coffee Time will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club.
DO YOU WANT TO PIG OUT?
Contestants can sign up by calling Cafe Polonia at 978-745-0045 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org