Free pancakes at IHOP

By Perry Russom
By Amy Khuu

March 5, 2014 Updated Mar 5, 2014 at 11:41 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) On Bourbon Street, they're throwing out beads. In Vestal, they're throwing down pancakes.

Mardi Gras marks the last day before the Lenten season and here in the Southern Tier, some were celebrating with pancakes on National Pancake Day.

The IHOP on the Vestal Parkway is celebrating Fat Tuesday by giving away hundreds and hundreds of short stacks.

They gave away about 500 short stacks by noon.

"We are just tripling on numbers from past years," said IHOP General Manager Heather Strohl. "We hope to make $4,000, but so far it's going pretty good."

Strohl says she's expecting thousands of customers by the end of the day.

Pancakes and Mardi Gras have closer ties than you may think. Centuries ago, the English didn't eat any dairy during Lent, so they threw eggs, milk and butter together creating Pancake Tuesday.

For the past 10 years, IHOP has been partnering with the Children's Miracle Network on Pancake Day.

"It's just so heart warming to see that they believe in what we do and they believe in helping kids," said Kate Billmeyer of Geisinger's Children's Miracle Network.

While the stacks are free, customers are encouraged to make donations helping kids fighting for their health.

IHOP served more than 2,100 stacks of pancakes and received more than $3,000 in donations.

"I feel like if we don't support the kids of the future, then we don't have a future. It's all about the kids," said Recardo Orsmby of Binghamton.

National Pancake Day ends at 10 p.m. on Tuesday and if you don't have a chance to get down there and you still want to give to the Children's Miracle Network, click here