BLOOMSBURG — In much of northeastern and central Pennsylvania, it’s not Fat Tuesday without the doughnuts.
For decades, a church in Columbia County has been making sure people in the Bloomsburg area have plenty of them.
They started their annual doughnut sale on Monday and people lined up in the bitter cold to get them.
An old commercial used to say “it’s time to make the doughnuts,” and at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Bloomsburg, the time to make the doughnuts comes every year right before Lent.
And volunteers sure make a lot of them. They expect to sell more than 9,000 doughnuts in only two days.
The smell outside was enough to help dozens of people endure temperatures in the teens waiting in line to get their hands on what’s only available once a year.
And when the sale started, the crowd rushed in to grab the goods, some grabbing several dozen to go.
“Oh, they are just wonderful. They are the best doughnuts around.”
“They’re real good. You can’t beat them.”
This pre-Lenten tradition dates back decades.
“I think after 75, 80 years you kind of get the hang of what you’re doing every year,” said volunteer Joyce McBride.
They’ve been making these doughnuts for so many years at the church they have quite the assembly line set up. And quite the recipe to make people line up to get these. What goes into them, they won’t tell us, what we do know they’re good.
“Oh, we can’t give that out! (It’s) top secret, top secret!”
We may not know the recipe but we do know these volunteers put in long hours Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. But there are no complaints as they make so many of their specialty.
“We’re all family and we have so much fun just working together, you don’t get tired doing it.”
“It is special,” McBride said. “During church you don’t get to talk to people. After church a lot of people want to rush home and get their dinner and so on. It’s just a time of camaraderie and getting to know each other and having a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.”
The doughnut sale continues Tuesday at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Bloomsburg, until all the doughnuts sell out, all 800 dozen of them.