Sarnia's Rotary Mackinac breakfast sails on Saturday

In this file photo, Mark and Melissa Lumley high five after another successful batch of pancakes during the Rotary Club of Sarnia Mackinac Race breakfast. The breakfast returns to Point Edward's Waterfront Park Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. File photo / /The Observer

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The Rotary Club of Sarnia is having some folks over Saturday for breakfast.

Members of the service club, with the help of a small army of volunteers, are planning to cook pancakes and sausages for 2,000 customers at its annual Mackinac Race breakfast in Point Edward’s Waterfront Park, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The breakfast, a tradition for more than 35 years, is served in the riverfront park beneath the Blue Water Bridge where crowds gather to watch approximately 200 sailboats and their crews pass by on the St. Clair River on their way to the starting line of the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race.

This is the 95th year for the annual race that starts from Port Huron, Mich., and crosses Lake Huron to Mackinac Island.

Mike Elliott, with the Rotary Club, said the breakfast crew begins work at 5 a.m., on the morning of the race.

“By 6:45 a.m., there’s a lineup and we go until we run out of food or 11 a.m., whichever comes first.”

Approximately 60 volunteers work at the breakfast that typically raises $10,000 a year to support community projects, including the club’s $600,000 pledge to Pathways Health Centre for Children.

The price for breakfast is $7 for adults and $4 for children, and advance tickets are being sold at Pathways, Manley’s and Haines Printing.

“If people buy tickets in advance, they can skip the line,” in the park, Elliott said.

Breakfasts include coffee or juice.

The service club is trying something new this year and encouraging breakfast customers to bring their own reusable plates and cutlery to cut down on the single-use disposal items used, “and reduce the environmental footprint of our event,” Elliott said.

“Anything we can do to minimize the waste – that’s a good thing.”

Customers who bring their own plates and cutlery will be able to enter a draw to win a tree donated by DeGroots Nurseries.

The club also partners with Bluewater Trails to provided a supervised bike parking area for customers who cycle to the park.

Also returning to the riverfront park this year for Mackinac Race weekend is the Point Edward Optimist Club’s annual Bridge Bash on Friday and Saturday evening.

Admission is $10 to the age 19 and up event featuring bands performing each evening, beginning at 7 p.m.