The city of Lawrence will celebrate its 150th birthday today in traditional style: with birthday cake.
"How can you have a birthday party without a birthday cake?" asked Steve Braswell, an organizer of the sesquicentennial festival from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in South Park.
The festival begins after a 10 a.m. parade down Massachusetts Street from Buford M. Watson Jr. Park. A 7 p.m. concert and dance in South Park also are planned.
A birthday party might not be complete without cake, but feeding the thousands of revelers the Sesquicentennial Commission hopes attend today's festival could be a challenge.
The commission is turning to donated white sheet cake from Dillons and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Dillons is donating 30 cakes, which typically have about 45 servings apiece; LMH is donating six similar cakes.
Braswell hinted cake servers would try to make the servings go farther than normal.
"We're going to cut this to serve at least 2,000," he said. Serving begins at 10:30 a.m.
Baking cakes was a new venture at LMH. The cafeteria typically buys cakes.
"We decided we'd try this as a goodwill gesture," said Debbie Miers, acting director for food and nutrition services. "We're a community hospital. We're a part of this. The hospital has been here 82 years, so we've been here for more than half of Lawrence's history."
And that means ignoring the "nutrition" portion of her title, just for a day.
"I'm looking the other way for cake," she said.