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Seabrook goes New Orleans as pancake flipping contest brings a taste of Fat Tuesday to seniors

February 24, 2012

TINTON FALLS, NJ - Laissez les bons temps rouler - Let the good times roll! A bit of the Big Easy was bountiful at Seabrook as residents and staff celebrated Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday in grand fashion with a little competition to also honor National Pancake Day.
A room full of people, regaled in colorful beads and masks moved to the sounds of traditional Mardi Gras music as they watched 15 participants take part in the First Annual Seabrook Musical Pancake Competition - A Mardi Gras Flippin' Good Time!
Ever heard of the children's game musical chairs?  The premise of this original contest was that more the residents, and a few staffers, gathered in a circle holding skillets as one pancake was flipped from pan to pan while traditional Mardi Gras and Zydeco music was played.  When the music stopped, the participant with the pancake in their pan was out!  This occured until one lucky winner was left.
"We wanted to bring a little Bourbon Street here to Seabrook and celebrate Mardi Gras, pancakes and lots of fun," Seabrook Executive Director Art Sparks said.  "This unique event was a tremendous amount of pure excitement that culminated with a challenging contest to see who was the fastest pancake flipper in all the land.
"Our aim here at Seabrook is to provide as many interesting and entertaining opportunities for our residents to enjoy here at the community and the pancake contest is surely one that pleased," Sparks continued.
The term Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, refers to the event of the Carnival celebration beginning on, or after, the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.
Many Christian cultures use this night of revelry as the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual of fasting for the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
In addition, the event was be hosted by the Mardi Gras "King," Gary Engelstad, who hosted a pancake trivia game and spoke about the history of Mardi Gras.
Following the game, all enjoyed the time-honored and customary King Cake - a Mardi Gras staple.
More than 1,400 people live at Seabrook, an Erickson Living full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle.  Erickson Living develops and manages 16 full-service retirement communities that provide worry-free living for America's seniors - the country's fastest-growing population segment.  Erickson Living's refundable entrance deposit and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into every community, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  For more information, visit