Blintzapalooza, as the name attests, involves a striking number of blintzes, thin pancakes stuffed with sweet cheese filling and served with sour cream and blueberry and apple toppings.
Thousands, in fact.
“Based on previous consumption (and the fact that we ran out last year), we have ordered 60 boxes of blintzes at 125 per box for a total of 7,500 blintzes,” said Barnett Kalikow, an organizer of Temple Beth Hatfiloh’s annual feast, a fundraiser for local nonprofits.
About half will be eaten during the 31st annual ’Palooza, happening Sunday, with the other half sold frozen and by the bagful so blintz buffs can satisfy their cravings for weeks to come.
The event also celebrates other carbohydrate-rich confections.
There’ll be bagels — 60 dozen — which were the focus of the event when it started and are still a mainstay.
And there’ll be kuchen, or coffee cake, the focus of this year’s baking contest. Anyone is welcome to enter the contest; just bring your best coffee cake to the temple between 10 and 11 a.m. for judging. The coffee cake won’t be for sale, but if you ask nicely, you might be given a taste of one after the competition.
All of this eating — and the waiting in line that precedes it — has built a real sense of community among the people who attend.
“If the weather is good, the line is out the door and all the way down the block,” Kalikow told the Olympian. “There are people out there giving samples. Sometimes, there has been entertainment out on the sidewalk.
“People look forward to it,” he added. “It is an Olympia social occasion.”
“We have some people who’ve been there every year,” fellow organizer Oscar Soule told the Olympian. Soule compared it to Harbor Days and Lakefair, both of which are also known in part for their associated foodstuffs. (Demo Burger, anyone?)
When you need a break from noshing, nip upstairs to the temple’s annual Blintzapalooza book sale. (Will there be books about blintzes? Perhaps, but the sale offers books on all kinds of topics.)
This might be the safest place at the sale for those on paleo or keto diets — if they dare to attend — but those who avoid gluten needn’t fear to enter: Organizers have ordered a limited supply of gluten-free bagels.
What: Temple Beth Hatfiloh’s 31st annual fundraiser for local nonprofits is a celebration of traditional Jewish goodies. There’s a book sale, too.
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, March 31, with book sale beginning at 9:30
Where: Temple Beth Hatfiloh, 201 Eighth Ave. SE, Olympia
Tickets: Free; bring cash to buy blintzes, bagels (with or without cream cheese and lox) and books.
More information: 360-754-8519, bethhatfiloh.org/blintzapalooza
Helping local nonprofits
Blintzapalooza has raised about $175,000 since it began 31 years ago. Proceeds are divided among different nonprofits each year, with Interfaith Works always getting a share.
This year’s other recipients are:
▪ The South Sound Reading Foundation, which gets books into the hands of low-income children and families
▪ The YWCA of Olympia’s Economic Empowerment Program, which prepares unemployed and underemployed women for careers through academic work, mentoring and on-the-job training
▪ Zonta Club of Olympia and Family Education and Support Services’ Next Right Step Program, which helps low-income women advance by paying for such one-time expenses as classes will lead to a job or a raise and car repairs needed so a woman can drive to work and child care.